• Hypospadias


    With hypospadias, the opening of the urethra develops on the underside of the penis. The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body so that urine can exit. In most boys, the opening is at the tip. The penis may also have a downward curve. This is called chordee.
    Male Reproductive System
    Nucleus factsheet image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    Hypospadias occurs when the penis develops while the child is in the uterus. The cause of hypospadias is usually not known.

    Risk Factors

    Risk factors include:
    • Family history of hypospadias
    • Mother being older or having in vitro fertilization
    • Environmental exposures or fetal growth problems during the pregnancy


    Symptoms may include:
    • Opening of urethra is not at the tip—may be near the underside of the penis head, along the shaft of the penis, or at the base of the penis
    • Downward curvature of the penis
    • Abnormal spray when urinating
    • Foreskin that only covers part of the head of the penis


    This condition is usually diagnosed at birth. More tests may be done if your child has other conditions.


    With mild forms, no treatment is needed. If the condition causes functional problems, surgery may be done. The surgery is done by a doctor called a pediatric urologist.
    If the urethral tissues cannot be brought back together, tissue grafts are used, usually from the foreskin or inside of the mouth. These grafts are used to:
    • Reconstruct the opening of the urethra
    • Straighten a curved penis
    Surgery is typically done when the child is 6-18 months old, but may be done at any age.


    There are no current guidelines to prevent hypospadias.


    Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics https://www.healthychildren.org

    Urology Care Foundation http://www.urologyhealth.org


    Canadian Urological Association http://www.cua.org

    Health Canada https://www.canada.ca


    Hypospadias. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113719/Hypospadias. Updated June 28, 2016. Accessed September 7, 2017.

    Hypospadias: a birth defect of the penis. Healthy Children—Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/genitourinary-tract/Pages/hypospadias-a-birth-defect-of-the-penis.aspx. Updated November 21, 2015. Accessed September 7, 2017.

    Revision Information

    • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
    • Review Date: 09/2017
    • Update Date: 09/30/2014
  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.