Hypospadias is a birth defect in male infants that presents with a misplaced urethra. Typically the urethra is located in the middle of the tip of the glans penis. In cases of Hypospadias, the opening can be located off-center, or further down on the shaft of the penis.
Occurrences of the disorder have been increasing in the past couple of decades. Researchers noted about 1 in 250 boys born in the 1970s were diagnosed with Hypospadias. That number jumped to 1 in 125 boys in the 1990s. Total numbers of current Hypospadias cases have not been noted in current research.
There are three degrees of severity:
- First degree: Mild and often requires no surgical repair for normal urination and semen delivery.
- Second degree: More severe, which means the location of the urethra could cause messy urination, infertility or difficulty ejaculating. Surgery can be used to repair second degree Hypospadias.
- Third degree: The most severe and will typically require multiple surgeries to fix.