When you are expecting a child, all you want is a health child, – a baby with all the organs in the right number, in the right place, in the right position and in the right side. But, unfortunately, sometimes, that doesn’t happen. Birth defects are very common. While infant mortality rate is decreasing in the world, ironically, the rate of birth defects is increasing.
Two such birth defects are hypospadias and epispadias.
Hypospadias and epispadias are both congenital diseases i.e. they are both birth defects which are developed in the womb. They are both defects due to abnormal location of the urethral opening in babies. There are no other external factors responsible for hypospadias and epispadias.
Let’s see what are hypospadias and epispadias and how they are different from each other.
Hypospadias in males is characterized by the presence of urethral opening on the underside of the penis rather than being on the tip of the penis. For females, the opening is inside the cavity of the vagina instead of being in between clitoris and vagina.
In males with epispadias, the urethra opens on the upper side of the penis; and in the urethra opens in the skin above the clitoris.
Rate of affecting:
Statistically, hypospadias is way more common than epispadias. Hypospadias is as common as 0.5% while epispadias occurs only in 1 out of 120,000 male and 1 out of 500,000 female births.
Both for hypospadias and epispadias, male children are more vulnerable of developing a disease than female children.
Hypospadias in male occurs when the tissues that form the urethra, do not fold properly. While in epispadias, the defects occurs due to a fault in the tissue itself.
In females with hypospadia, the same tissues might fall short to make the required length of the urethra causing it to open inside the vaginal canal. Sometimes, extra tissue forms fissures in the bladder. This incident may also lead to epispadia.
Health Risks in Hypospadias and Epispadias:
Epispadias can cause bladder abnormalities. Hypospadias is generally not associated with any other health condition. However, hypospadias makes the genitals look deformed which in turn might make it difficult to assign sex to the baby at birth.
[You might be interested in this : What is Hypospadias, Causes and Symptoms of Hypospadias]
Treatment for Hypospadias and Epispadias:
Both hypospadias and epispadias require surgical correction. Depending on the degree of dislocation, hypospadias repair in male can be done in one or more procedures. The same in a female child requires only one surgery but it is a very complex one.
Epispadias treatment is more complex to repair in men as it might involve altering other bodily structures as well. The foreskin is often used during correction. Hence, it is advisable to not go for circumcision before the surgery. In females, epispadias treatment requires multiple surgeries to gain urinary consistency.
After surgical correction, people who were born with simple hypospadias can live normal live. But sometimes, despite epispadias treatment, men face complications in fathering children.
Living with any of the conditions become more and more difficult as the person reaches adulthood. They cause urinary inconsistency and makes you more vulnerable to urinary tract infection. They might hamper you sexual health as well. It’s best not delay the surgery and get the conditions corrected immediately after birth.
About the hospital
Ankura Hospitals is a chain of women and children in Hyderabad. Set up in the year 2011 in KPHB, near Hitech Railway Station, the Ankura Hospitals family has today spread its wings to Secunderabad, Khammam and Vijayawada.