What is Hypospadias?

While many boys are born with normal penises, some are born with a birth defect known as hypospadias. Hypospadias is a congenital condition in which the meatus or hole of a guy’s penis does not develop at the tip and instead forms somewhere along the shaft or even at the penis’ base, where the shaft and scrotum meet. In the US, hypospadias is known to affect 1 in every 200 boys.

What Causes it and How Does it Affect Males?

Experts are still not sure about what exactly causes hypospadias, but some doctors theorize that it happens due to an imbalance of male hormones during a baby’s development in the womb. It has also been observed that hypospadias can be passed on through genes.

Not much is affected when a guy has hypospadias. The biggest activities that hypospadias may impact are peeing and ejaculating. The penis still functions the same as in males who don’t have hypospadias. However, because of the fact that the urethral opening does not form at the end of the penis, a guy’s pee and semen come out from elsewhere.

What Are the Types of Hypospadias?

There are three types of hypospadias that differ based on where the opening of the urethra is:

  • Subcoronal – The opening develops just below the glans or the head of the penis.
  • Midshaft – The opening develops along the shaft.
  • Penoscrotal – The opening develops at the base of the penis.
Image by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities via cdc,gov.

In cases of penoscrotal hypospadias, the entire lower layer of a man’s penis does not develop, resulting in the downward curving of one’s penis.

What Can Be Done About It?

Hypospadias is not harmful and does not occur along with other complications. Men who have hypospadias could get surgery for it if they’d like. Even boys and babies could undergo this procedure. Hypospadias repair involves straightening the penis and completing the urinary channel, thereby repositioning the meatus at the tip of one’s penis. Again, though, hypospadias is harmless and does not necessarily require fixing. 





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