Hypospadias is a birth defect found in males that consists of the opening of the urethra being on the underside of the penis instead of on the tip, where it is usually located. It is of utmost importance to have a doctor correct the defect through a surgical procedure since it can cause many problems for males in the future. The defect is usually corrected at birth to avoid any further injury or problems later in life. The condition causes infertility since semen is expelled out of the urethra, and if the opening of the urethra is not found on the tip of the penis, a male cannot get sperm into the vaginal canal.
The chances of a baby being born with this condition are rare, but it is not unheard of. Approximately one in every 250 live male births is affected by this defect. The location of the opening of the urethra can vary case by case. It can be found on the anywhere from the underside of the baby’s penis, to his scrotum.
Even though there is no specific cause, scientists say that there might be a genetic component to the condition because it is likely for twins to experience it. Another possible cause may be a hormonal imbalance. It is thought that hormones like testosterone, which affect male qualities and characteristics, can affect whether a baby is born with Hypospadias. Also, studies have shown that women who have been around large quantities of female sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone have a higher chance of birthing males with Hypospadias.
Normally, the condition is first detected after a doctor conducts a routine exam right after the baby is born. If the doctor has reason to suspect that the infant suffers from the condition, he or she will order an x-ray of the baby’s urinary tract to confirm. The defect is then corrected during the child’s first year.
A surgical procedure is needed to correct the problem. The procedure usually involves repositioning the urethra and placing it where it is supposed to go, at the head of the penis. It can also involve some surgical reconstruction.
Overall, the condition is treated to prevent further complications in the future and does not present an immediate risk to the newborn. Sometimes, people choose to have hypospadias repair done in early or late adulthood, although it is recommended that parents have it corrected as soon as possible as infants have a much faster recovery rate than adults do and it is a very invasive procedure that will require a lot of aftercare.
If corrected during adulthood, it will take much longer for a male to get back into healthy conditions and to everyday activities. Regardless of when the defect is corrected, it is important to highlight that it cannot go without correction if the person intends to love a normal life. Urinating can be extremely difficult depending on where the opening of the urethra is found, and it will almost certainly cause male infertility if not corrected.