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What is hypospadias?

What is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a congenital anomaly defined as a malformation of the male urethra, abnormally placed on the lower part of the glans penis, on the lower side of the penis or on the joint of the penis with the scrotum. Generally, hypospadias is also associated with a malformation of the foreskin -which normally does not fully develop itself- and a curvature of the penis towards the belly (congenital penile curvature).

There are different types of hypospadias, depending on where the urethral opening is located; the further from the glans penis, the higher its gravity.

Because of that penile curvature, this malformation is considered as a cause of sexual dysfunction since it may impede mechanically the sexual act, and due to the abnormal position of the urethral opening, it may impede the ejaculation in the vagina.

It is a common anomaly in men, and its appearance frequency is estimated in around 1 and 8 newborn children out of 1000. Hypospadias has both aesthetic and functional consequences, and once the child has grown up, the consequences may be even psychological.

By BSc, MSc, PhD (senior clinical embryologist), BSc, MSc (embryologist) and MD, MSc (gynecologist).
Last Update: 06/07/2021