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Hypospadias is a common birth defect in boys. The urethra is a tube that goes from a boy’s bladder to an opening. The child’s urine drains into the urethra and out of his body. The hypospadias congenital defect has to do with the placement of the urethral opening. Instead of the opening being at the tip of the penis, it is on the underside of it. Most of the time, the urethra opening is within the penis’s head. Sometimes and less often, the opening is at the penis’s middle or at the base of it. It is rare for the opening to be beneath or in the scrotum. Hypospadias repair can be done with surgery and the child’s penis’s appearance will then be normal. If the hypospadias defect is treated, the boy can have both normal urination and reproduction.

Problems Caused by the Hypospadias Birth Defect

One problem caused by this defect is that it may be difficult to check whether the opening is clean since it is on the underside of his penis. Also, with the opening on the underside, it is difficult to see if there are signs of an infection or redness. Another problem could occur if the hypospadias defect isn’t corrected early. The boy may have to pee sitting down. If the defect isn’t corrected before he is an adult, it could be difficult to direct his sperm into a woman and, therefore, to have children.

Causes of the Hypospadias Birth Defect

Currently, doctors aren’t sure what causes the hypospadias birth defect. However, some think the following could be reasons this defect occurs. Genetics are thought to play a role in this defect. If the relatives of a boy were born with this defect, it is thought genetics could be a cause. If a mother had fertility treatments such as hormone therapy to get pregnant, it is thought the hormones or medications could be the cause. It is also believed that a mother’s weight and age could play a role in causing the hypospadias defect. If a mother is over the age of 35 and overweight, it is believed there is a greater chance her son will be born with the defect.

How a Pregnant Woman can Reduce Her Baby’s Chance of Hypospadias

The following are recommended for the reduction of Hypospadias Chances: A pregnant woman shouldn’t smoke or drink alcohol. A pregnant woman should maintain a healthy weight. It’s a good idea for a pregnant to take 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day. A pregnant woman should have regular check-ups by a doctor.

The Surgical Correction of Hypospadias

There most likely is no need for a surgical correction of a boy’s hypospadias if the opening is located near to the tip and the penis working well enough. However, many hypospadias cases do need surgery. The purpose of the surgery is to move the urethra and its opening. The procedure often includes the straightening of the boy’s penis as well. Doctors repair the opening using the foreskin’s skin or skin taken elsewhere on the boy’s body. Therefore, your doctor most likely will not circumcise your boy. This is because your doctor would leave his foreskin intact to use skin from it to repair the opening.

This surgery is usually done when the child is between 3 and 18 months old. The surgery is done on a child who is anesthetized meaning not awake during the surgery. The child is usually able to go home on the same day as the surgery procedure. If your boy’s hypospadias is missed, the surgery can still be done later. However, the defect is usually obvious since his pee comes out in the wrong direction. The results of surgery to correct this defect are very successful. Surgery can also be done on adults with this defect. This surgery on adults is less common and can be more difficult.

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Posted by Virginia K. Stockstill

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