What Is Hypospadias?

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Hypospadias is a congenital abnormality in which the opening of the male urethra is located near the glans penis or along the shaft of the penis or in extreme cases the urethra is located at the base of the penis or under the scrotum. It can be diagnosed at birth. It is absolutely necessary for a child to undergo surgery in order to lead a normal life. Hypospadias is usually surgically corrected within twelve months to three years after the child has been born, depending on the severity of the condition. Often males with hypospadias have chordee, a condition in which the penis bends downward during an erection. Uncorrected hypospadias puts a child at risk for urinary tract infections. The child may also have malformed foreskin. If the condition is left untreated a child might have difficulty toilet training, social interaction with other boys and problems with sexual relations in adulthood. Surgical correction hypospadias is controversial because it is genital surgery. Some people regard it as an unnecessary interference with a child’s body and a traumatic experience with psychological consequences extending into adult life. Causes of hyposadias are not yet fully understood, the condition is thought to be the result of a combination of factors. Genetic disorders, low birth weight, environmental contamination have been associated with an increased risk of hypospadias. Statistically it affects up to 4 in 1,000 boys and the number of boys born with hypospadias has increased since the 1970s. Caucasians have the highest rates of hypospadias and is more common in males of Jewish or Italian descent. Hispanics have the lowest and African Americans have medial rates. Surgical repair is done for many reasons both physical and psychological. The abnormal location of the urethra opening forces many boys to sit down while urinating, which leads to anxiety about using public restrooms and being seen naked by their male peers. Correcting chordee would allow the child to have...
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