Hypospadias (hy-po-SPAY-dee-us) is a birth defect in which the tube that carries urine out of the body, called the urethra, opens on the underside of the penis, not at the tip.
In boys with hypospadias, the opening of the urethra, called the meatus (say: mee-AT-us), may be located anywhere along the underside of the penis. In some cases, this can cause problems such as an abnormal urinary spraying, a curved penis during erection, and possible fertility problems in adulthood.
Hypospadias is a common birth defect in boys, and if surgically treated, is usually corrected permanently.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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