Hypospadias is a birth defect affecting males only where the urinary opening—usually located at the tip of the penis—is abnormally positioned. In the more severe forms (classified 2nd or 3rd degree), the opening is on the shaft of the penis or in the scrotum. These are often associated with large urinary openings or curvature/other defects of the penis and require surgery.
We've recently completed analyses of risk factors for hypospadias using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a population-based case-control study funded by the CDC, which is being conducted at 10 centers across the U.S., including CBDMP. We found that maternal intake of progestins during early pregnancy was associated with a 3.7-fold higher risk of second or third degree hypospadias, and that maternal smoking was not associated with increased risk.