Hypospadias (HS), What Is It

Having been born with HS at a time before the internet, it was a condition that did not have a name in my case until I was in my twenties. Thinking it was just me with the condition, I never went to the reference library to research it and my parents, sibling, doctor, etc. never brought up the subject.

There are various forms of hypospadias from mild, where the meatus (outlet of the urethra where the urine and semen come out) is on the glans, through more severe where the opening is on the shaft of the penis, to quite severe where the opening can be between the scrotum and anus. All the variation may have chordee, which is a bend in the penis, and this may cause problems when the penis is erect so that sexual penetration may be difficult. With HS there may also be a hooded foreskin which covers half of the glans; this tissue may be used in any subsequent surgical procedure.

It may be that a severe case of HS needs some surgical procedure to try to improve the chordee and/or bring the meatus nearer the tip of the penis. There can be some failures in these procedures; strictures (a narrowing of the urethra) in the newly formed urethra or a fistula (an extra hole through which urine leaks out) in the scar line may present. Mild cases may be left as they are at birth since the functions of the penis are working well.

There is the psychological aspect to consider, however, since the male individual tends to be aware of his penis from an early age. Inevitably there will be comparisons made at school or in showering after sport and just how informed the individual was made at home may well help to cope with this situation. In other words, the young person should be aware that he is not alone in this HS business and need not be ashamed of his differently-shaped penis.

I would say that two or three young adults with HS have recently told me that they have made immediate friends with people at school, both male and female, who are aware of their HS. These people have been treated with respect and understanding. This is something I did not dare do as a young adult but just shows that knowledge, and the proper use of it, can be a great help in coming to terms with hypospadias.

by an HEA Member