Although milder instances of hypospadias are often left alone, as they do not interfere with sexual and reproductive functions, more serious cases can be treated through surgery.
Depending on the extent of the damage, one or several surgeries may be required to reposition the meatus and straighten out the penile shaft. Surgery can be done at a fairly young age, with many pediatric urologists preferring to perform the surgery between the ages of three and 18 months.
During fetal development, the testicles begin to form in the abdomen before descending into the scrotum. In about three to four per cent of births, though, this descent fails to occur. In the majority of cases, this problem is naturally corrected within nine months of birth. However, boys who have at least one undescended testicle by age one will likely require surgery to correct the problem.
Not correcting this testicular problem can result in male infertility later in life. Regardless of whether the testicle descends into the scrotum or not, any man with undescended testicles at birth is thought to be at an increased risk of developing testicular cancer.
Other Congenital Defects
Not all congenital problems are treatable, thereby contributing to male infertility. One such defect is Klinefelter syndrome, whereby a man has an additional ‘X’ chromosome. This extra chromosome results in abnormally small testes with poor function as well as azoospermia.
Sertoli cell-only syndrome
Men affected by Sertoli cell-only syndrome (germ cell aplasia), a very rare defect, will also have azoospermia. In men with Sertoli cell-only syndrome, the necessary sperm producing cells are lacking, thereby resulting in a poor reproductive function.
While neither of these conditions can be effectively treated, men with either of these problems may still father a child by using TESE.