Hypospadias is a condition that affects male infants. The condition causes the urethra to develop in a location other than the tip of the penis. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently investigated a possible connection between medication and herbal use during pregnancy and hypospadias. The research was published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

Information was collected from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Researchers were able to locate 1,537 male infants born with 2nd to 3rd-degree hypospadias. The control group was made up of 4,314 males with no major birth defects.

In all, the authors investigated 64 medications and 24 herbals. Researchers found an association between hypospadias and Clomiphene citrate, but the connection was already realized in the previous study. Two additional drugs were found to possibly increase the risk of hypospadias – venlafaxine and progesterone-only birth control (oral). Venlafaxine is commonly prescribed to patients with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions/symptoms.

Source: Lind JN, Tinker SC, Broussard CS, Reefhuis J, Carmichael SL, Honein MA, Olney RS, Parker SE, Werler MM. Maternal medication and herbal use and risk for hypospadias: data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2007. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2013 Apr 26. doi: 10.1002/pds.3448.