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In hypospadias, the opening of the urethra is located on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip. The severity of the condition varies. In most cases, the opening of the urethra is near the head of the penis. Less often, the opening is at midshaft or at the base of the penis. Rarely, the opening is in or beneath the scrotum.

Signs and symptoms of hypospadias may include:

  • Opening of the urethra at a location other than the tip of the penis
  • Downward curve of the penis (chordee)
  • Hooded appearance of the penis because only the top half of the penis is covered by foreskin
  • Abnormal spraying during urination

When to see a doctor

Most infants with hypospadias are diagnosed soon after birth while still in the hospital.

However, it's possible that less severe hypospadias may be overlooked. Call your doctor if you notice your son's urethral opening is not at the tip of the penis, his foreskin is not fully developed or his penis curves downward.

Jan. 22, 2011