Urogenital Conditions

Adopt Special Needs: Special Needs - Urogenital ConditionsUrogenital conditions are special needs which impact the urinary and genital organs. Below is a list of the most common urogenital conditions seen in children waiting for forever families. We provide the following information for reference purposes only and cannot attest to the accuracy of the information. We highly recommend speaking with an experienced physician for further details on each condition.

Common Urogenital Conditions

Ambiguous Genitalia


Ambiguous genitalia
is a condition when the sex of a baby is uncertain at birth because genitals may not appear clearly male or female. Development of the sex organs is a four step process in the growing fetus. Problems may arise at any of the four steps causing malformations or incomplete growth. Males may have a very concealed, small or absent penis. The penis may also be “split open” as in hypospadias and difficult to recognize. The testes may be hidden in the abdomen or undeveloped. The testes may look like female labia. Females may have enlarged clitoral tissue that resembles a small penis. Their labia might be closed and resemble a boy’s scrotum. 

Causes:
Hormonal imbalances and genetic disorders are often the cause.    

Possible complications:
Sometimes children with ambiguous genitalia have an increased risk for tumors in the testes or ovary. Blood tests are often needed to determine the genetic sex of the child. Children with ambiguous genitalia should also be examined for underlying medical problems like salt losing disease, hormone imbalances, and chromosome abnormalities.

Treatment:
Treatment options for children with this condition will vary. Some doctors may perform surgery and recommend hormone replacement therapy.  Others believe that no treatment should be started until the child can express their own wishes about what will be done to his or her body.

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Anorchism


A boy born with anorchism will typically have a normally developed penis and scrotum; however will not have testes. 

Possible complications:
Without hormone therapy, boys may experience limited penis and public hair growth, no deepening of voice, and difficulty gaining muscle mass. 

Treatment:
Anorchism is treatable with proper therapy. The primary treatment involves hormone therapy to compensate for the testosterone the testes would have normally produced. Prosthetic testicle implants are also available. 

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Concealed Penis


Other common names:
Inconspicuous penis, buried penis

Concealed penis is a condition where the boy has a normal-sized penis that lays hidden in the pubic fat pad. This condition is also sometimes called buried penis or hidden penis. Inconspicuous penis is a condition where the penis appears small but the shaft can be normal or abnormal in size.

Possible complications:
Boys with this condition frequently get urinary tract infections or have urinary retention.  

Treatment: 
If the penis can be easily exposed by gently pulling on it or by pressing down on the surrounding fat pad, then the situation will usually correct itself over time. Sometimes surgery is needed for concealed penis.  The age this should be done varies greatly by the specific condition. If surgery is required, the results are usually excellent.

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Cryptorchidism


Other common names: 
Undescended testes

Cryptorchidism is a condition in newborns when one or both of the male testes have not passed down into the scrotal sac. 

Causes:
Up to 30% of premature males will have an undescended testes. Undescended testes may occur for several other reasons including hormonal disorders, spina bifida, retractile testes or testicular absence.

Possible complications:
Infertility is possible if both testes are affected and not corrected. There is a considerable increased risk of cancer if uncorrected by age 30 to 40 years. There is also an increased risk of hernia formation if uncorrected.

Treatment:
This condition usually resolves without any intervention by the time the infant is six months old. The resolution occurs when the testes descend and remain in the scrotal sac. If by six months of age children still have undescended testicles, they should be evaluated by a pediatric urologist or other qualified subspecialist who can assist with diagnosis and treatment.

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Hypospadias

Adopt Special Needs: Special Needs - Urogenital Conditions - Hypospadias
Hypospadias
is a congenital birth defect that affects the urethral tube and the foreskin on a male's penis. As the fetus develops, the urethra does not grow to its complete length. The urethra opening may not occur at the tip of the penis, but may be present on the underside of the penis. Also during fetal development, the foreskin does not develop completely, which typically leaves extra foreskin on the top side of the penis and no foreskin on the underside. Common symptoms of hypospadias may include abnormal appearance of foreskin and penis and abnormal direction of urine stream. The end of the penis may be curved downward.

Possible complications:
Hypospadias may occur in some newborn boys who have other congenital abnormalities such as undescended testes or inguinal hernias. If left untreated, the hypospadias may lead to messy urination, urinary tract infections and incontinence.

Treatment:
Hypospadias can usually be successfully repaired with surgery.

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Polycystic Kidney Disease


Other common names:
PKD, PCSD, Polycystic Kidney Syndrome

Polycystic kidney disease involves clusters of cysts which develop primarily within the kidneys. Cysts are noncancerous round sacs filled with a water-like fluid. Polycystic kidney disease isn't limited to your kidneys, although the kidneys usually are the most severely affected organs. The disease can cause cysts to develop in your liver and elsewhere in your body. Children with PKD may have high blood pressure, back or side pain, headache, swollen abdomen, blood in the urine, frequent urination, kidney stones or failure, UTI or kidney infections. Polycystic kidney disease varies greatly in its severity, and some complications are preventable. Lifestyle changes and medical treatments may help reduce damage to your kidneys from complications, such as high blood pressure. 

Treatment:
Treatment usually consists of different medications, which are used to

  • Control blood pressure
  • Treat urinary tract infections
  • Treat hematuria
  • Reduce abdominal pain produced by enlarged kidneys

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