Hypospadias is a birth defect in
which the male urine tube (urethra) opening is not located at the tip of the penis. With
hypospadias, the urethral opening may be located anywhere along the urethra, but is most
commonly along the underside of the penis near the tip. As the baby develops in the
womb, the urethra doesn’t grow to its complete length. Also, the foreskin doesn’t
develop completely. This can leave extra foreskin on the topside of the penis and no
foreskin on the underside of the penis. The end of the penis may be curved downward.
Hypospadias is a disorder that occurs in about 5 out of 1,000 baby boys. Some baby boys who have other health problems like undescended testes or inguinal hernias may also have hypospadias. In very rare cases, a baby girl may have hypospadias. The opening of the urethra enters into the vagina.
Hypospadias can be repaired through surgery. Usually the surgical repair is done when the baby is 6 to 12 months old. At this time, the penis is not growing very much. At birth the baby should not be circumcised. This is because the extra foreskin may be needed for the surgery.