This abnormality occurs while your boy baby is still in the womb and may potentially affect the appearance and function of the penis. It’s treatable surgically, usually with high degree of success.

What is Hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a birth defect in boys. It occurs when the opening of the urethra (the tube that lets urine leave the body) is not located at the tip of the penis. Instead, the opening forms on the underside of the penis.  Hypospadias may have varying degrees of severity, with some mild forms and others quite severe.

What are the symptoms of Hypospadias?

Signs your son may have hypospadias include:

  • The opening of the urethra, which is where urine exits his body, is not visible at the tip of the penis
  • The penis is curved downward
  • Abnormal spraying during urination
  • Abnormal appearance of foreskin

What causes Hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a birth defect that seems to occur during weeks 8–14 of pregnancy. During this time certain hormones stimulate the formation of the urethra and foreskin. If a malfunction occurs with these hormones, the urethra may develop abnormally.

In most cases, the exact cause of hypospadias is unknown. Sometimes, hypospadias is genetic, but environment also may play a role.

How is Hypospadias diagnosed?

Most instances of hypospadias are diagnosed at the hospital shortly after baby’s birth. If your child was not diagnosed with hypospadias and you have concerns, consult the pediatric urologists at Michigan Institute of Urology in Southeast Michigan. We can diagnose hypospadias with a physical exam.

How is Hypospadias treated?

Treating hypospadias is important. If not treated the following may result:

  • Penis appears abnormal
  • Abnormal curvature to the penis
  • Problems learning to use a toilet and controlling urine stream
  • Ejaculation may be impaired leading to potential issues with fertility

In most instances, surgery is needed to reposition the urethral opening and possibly to straighten the shaft of the penis. Such surgery usually takes place at 6 to 12 months after birth. This can typically be done on an outpatient basis.

Severe forms of hypospadias may require more than one surgery to correct the defect.

In most cases, surgery is highly successful. Most of the time the penis looks normal after surgery, and boys have normal urination and reproduction.

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