What Is Hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a general congenital disorder occurring in male babies. The opening of the urethra is not in its original position near the end of the penis but is found somewhere along the base. The portion of this opening (known as the Urethral meatus) in hypospadias is normally located at the intersection of the head (glans) of the penis and the body, while the lower body appears to be found anywhere. It may also be in or under the scrotum in exceptional cases.

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Types Of Hypospadias

The type of hypospadias depends on where the opening or orifice of the urethra is located. We can group them into:

  • Calendar: The opening is located inside the glans
  • Subcoronal or distal: The opening is under the glans
  • Medium: The opening is in the body of the penis
  • Proximal: The opening is located at the base of the penis
  • Perineal: The opening is located behind the scrotum
Types of Hypospadias
Image Credit: UPS

Hypospadias Symptoms

The key symptom of hypospadias is that the urethral carcass is not at the tip of the penis. Sometimes it is preceded by the following:

  • Hock phenomenon in which the penis curves downwards.
  • The hooded appearance of the penis, since only the upper half has foreskin to cover it.
  • Hypospadias can also cause problems with penis function.
  • Abnormal spraying when urinating.

The child may have to sit down to urinate when he is old enough to go to the bathroom.

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Problems with ejaculation and having children; it may be difficult to direct sperm to the uterus during intercourse.

Hypospadias Causes

Hypospadias is a congenital disorder, which means that it is present when the child is born. During uterine growth, certain hormones regulate the development of the penis and the formation of the urethra and foreskin. It is believed that the malfunction of these hormones contributes to hypospadias, although it is not clear precisely what causes the malfunction. The hypotheses contain the following:

  • Genetics: Hypospadias appears to be hereditary.
  • Mother’s age: The condition appears to be more common in babies born to mothers over 35 years old, making it a potential risk factor.
  • Mother’s weight: Mothers classified as overweight have a higher risk of having a baby with hypospadias.
  • Exposure to certain substances in the uterus: It is believed that if a developing child is exposed to certain chemicals, cigarettes, alcohol, and even certain fertility drugs through a pregnant mother, this may raise the risk of hypospadias, although further studies are needed to confirm this.

Treatments For Hypospadias

Minor hypospadias, where the opening of the urethra is not far from its correct location, does not necessarily require treatment. In other cases, pediatric hypospadias surgery may be required to reposition the urethral carcass, which may require greasing tissue from the foreskin or inside the mouth. In certain situations, the shaft will even have to be surgically straightened. Pediatric hypospadias is usually performed at about nine months of age.

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How Common Is Hypospadias?

According to Researchers report, it is estimated that about 1 in every 200 babies are born with hypospadias which makes it one of the most common birth defects in the United States.

Much of the research compared the penile length of patients who had hypospadias surgery in infancy, based on the severity of the hypospadias. In those studies, it was found that the severity of hypospadias was a major risk factor for smaller penile sizes.

What Type Of Specialist Treats Hypospadias?

Pediatric urologists are experts in the treatment of penis diseases in infants, while pediatric surgeons may have to perform a procedure to correct hypospadias.

The medical information provided in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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