Children's Hospital Colorado

Epispadias

What is epispadias?

Epispadias occurs when the urethral opening (the tube that drains the urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) is not in the correct location. Epispadias can occur alone, but usually occurs in conjunction with bladder exstrophy, which is a combination of disorders that occurs during fetal development.

When this condition occurs in boys, the urethra opens on the top side of the penis, instead of at the tip. In girls, the urethral opening is bigger and longer than normal, positioned further up the urethral tube, and can extend all the way to the bladder.

What causes epispadias?

The causes of epispadias are not known. It may occur because the pubic bone does not develop properly.

Who gets epispadias?

Epispadias is a very rare congenital defect affecting 1 in 117,000 newborn boys and 1 in 484,000 newborn girls.

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