A birth defect of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries the urine from the bladder to an external opening. In males, the urethra should open at the tip of the penis. If the urethra opens below the tip of the penis, this is called hypospadias. There are various grades of hypospadias depending on how far down the shaft of the penis the urethral opening is located. The only way to correct this is with surgery, which is usually performed at 1-2 years of age. Children with hypospadias should never be circumsized as the foreskin may be used to repair the hypospadias.
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