Hypospadias is a condition in infant boys in which the opening that carries urine out of the body (the urethra) is on the underside, rather than the tip, of the penis. It’s a congenital condition, or present at birth, and that’s when you or your child’s doctor may first notice it.
There are different degrees of hypospadias, with the urethral opening appearing anywhere along the length of the penile shaft. Most are mild or moderate and a small percentage are severe. Hypospadias may cause your child to have a deflected urine stream.
There may also be other penile abnormalities associated with hypospadias. For example, the skin that covers the urethra is often thin and poorly developed and can result in bending of the penis, causing it to curve. This curvature is called a chordee. Although hypospadias may run in families, there’s no single known cause of the condition.
You might feel worried if your son is born with hypospadias, but you should know that it is a common condition. Nemours pediatric urologists are experienced at repairing the problem and restoring the appearance and function of your child’s penis.
Our Nemours urologists correct hypospadias with surgery that is usually performed when your son is older than 4 months of age. Depending on the severity of hypospadias, our doctor may perform straightening of the penis, relocation of the meatus (urethra opening) to the tip of the penis and the creation of a cosmetic glans (head of the penis) and penile shaft.
The goal of hypospadias repair is to normalize urination, create normal erections, and to improve the cosmetic appearance of the penis. The surgery is often same day surgery, and the overall results are excellent, with children going on to have normal urinary and sexual function in adulthood.
From Nemours' KidsHealth
- Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Related Conditions
- A to Z: Cystitis
- A to Z: Edema
- A to Z: Neurogenic Bladder
- What Can I Do About My Child's Bedwetting?
- Urine Test: Dipstick
- X-Ray Exam: Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)
- Urine Test: Protein
- Urine Test: Calcium
- Urine Test: Creatinine
- Ultrasound: Renal (Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder)
- Kidneys and Urinary Tract
- Urinary Tract Infections
Trusted External Resources
What Can I Do About My Child's Bedwetting?
My 12-year-old son still frequently wets the bed. How can I help him?
Bedwetting, or enuresis, affects many older kids and even teens. Although the chances are good that your son will outgrow the condition, consider talking to your doctor, who can help find possible causes and suggest the best treatment.
Treatment might include behavior modification, the use of a bedwetting alarm, medicine, counseling, and other methods. Most important, knowing that he has the support and understanding of his family can help your son to feel less frustrated or ashamed about wetting the bed.
Reviewed by: Rupal Christine Gupta, MD
Date reviewed: September 26, 2016