Hypospadias

What is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a malformation that affects the urethral tube and the foreskin on a male's penis. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Hypospadias is a disorder in which the male urethral opening is not located at the tip of the penis. The urethral opening can be located anywhere along the urethra. Most commonly with hypospadias, the opening is located along the underside of the penis, near the tip.

Prevention & Risk Treatment

Prevention & Risk Treatment

What causes hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a congenital (present at birth) anomaly (abnormality), which means that the malformation occurs during fetal development. As the fetus develops, the urethra does not grow to its complete length. Also during fetal development, the foreskin does not develop completely, which typically leaves extra foreskin on the top side of the penis and no foreskin on the underside of the penis.

Who is affected by hypospadias?

According to pediatric neurologists:

  • Hypospadias is a disorder that primarily affects male newborns.
  • Hypospadias also has a genetic component. Some fathers of males with hypospadias also have the condition. 
  • Prematurity and low birth weight are also considered risk factors for hypospadias.

What are the symptoms of hypospadias?

The following are the most common symptoms of hypospadias. However, each baby may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal appearance of foreskin and penis on exam
  • Abnormal direction of urine stream
  • The end of the penis may be curved downward

The symptoms of a hypospadias may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your baby's physician for a diagnosis.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

How is hypospadias diagnosed?

A physician or health care professional usually diagnoses hypospadias at birth. The malformation can be detected by physical examination.

Children's Team

Children's Team

Providers

Departments

Departments

Urology

At Children’s National in Washington, DC, our pediatric urologists provide comprehensive care for disorders affecting reproductive and urinary organs.

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Craig Peters' Story

Craig Peters

Craig Peters, MD, is the chief of Surgical Technology and Translation and Principal Investigator in the bioengineering initiative at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.

Read More of Craig Peters' Story