Multitudinous is mankind’s maladies! Many do occur after birth, but some are congenital. Of the latter category is hypospadias, a disorder that afflicts male babies.
What Exactly is This Disorder?
The prefix hypo- is derived from Greek and carries the meaning “beneath, under.” Of course, it’s a prefix commonly found in the naming of several diseases or medical conditions — hypothyroidism; hypolipoproteinemia; hypothermia; etc. But from whence is spadias? Spadias, likewise originating from Greek, expresses the concept of “sword,” which, in the medical moniker in question, is a symbolic reference to the “penis,” the male reproductive and urinary organ.
Now, when hypo is used in naming maladies, it intends to convey the ideas of “underactive,” “under-represented,” or “underdeveloped” (as in “malformed”). The condition being considered herein entails all these aspects, perhaps. Whereas normal penile development has the urethral canal leading to the male sexual organ’s tip’s center, the same canal the body uses to dispense semen as well as urine, this medical malady causes the penile aperture (a.k.a. meatus) to occur other than at the normal location.
In the pregnancy phase of 8 to 14 (another source states 9 to 12) weeks, the male baby may be afflicted by one of three types of the disorder: (1.) subcoronal — the aperture being oddly situated at the underside of the corona of the glans (a.k.a. head) (common); (2.) midshaft — the aperture situated somewhere in the shaft’s underside’s middle (less common); or (3.) penoscrotal — the aperture situated at the juncture of the penis and the scrotum, in the scrotum, or beneath it (quite seldom).
This deformity will undoubtedly deal a blow to the mature onlooker’s psyche, even though the child himself is spared from this much while yet young. Quite a different tale pertains to his bodily …