Genital Problems in Infants

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Any deformity or change in the genitals is of obvious concern to parents. Yet many of these changes can be corrected. Follow this chart for more information.

SYMPTOMS DIAGNOSIS SELF-CARE

MALE GENITAL PROBLEMS


No

Go to FEMALE GENITAL PROBLEMS

Begin Here

1. Does your son seem to have one or both testicles missing?


Yes

Your son may have an UNDESCENDED TESTICLE.

See your child's doctor.

No

2. Does the urine seem to come from the shaft of your son's penis instead of the tip and does your son's penis curve downward?


Yes

The urethra is a tube through which urine drains from the bladder. HYPOSPADIAS is a condition in which the opening of the urethra is located along the shaft of the penis.

See your child's doctor. HYPOSPADIAS may need to be surgically corrected.

No

3. Is there still is a lot of skin surrounding the tip of your son's penis even though your son has been circumcised?


Yes

Your son may have had an INCOMPLETE CIRCUMCISION.

Carefully clean the foreskin on a regular basis. See your child's doctor to check whether the surgery needs to be repeated to correct the problem.

No

4. Does it seem like your son's foreskin is too tight to pull back?


Yes

This condition is called PHIMOSIS.

See your child's doctor.

No

5. Is it difficult to tell the sex of your infant at birth or shortly after?

AMBIGUOUS GENITALIA is a birth defect in which the genitals are not well-formed and are difficult to identify.

Your child's doctor may perform some tests to identify the sex of your baby. Treatment may include hormone replacement or surgery.


FEMALE GENITAL PROBLEMS

Begin Here

1. Does your infant daughter have a thick discharge or bleeding from the vaginal opening?


Yes

This may be related to an INFECTION in the vagina or in the bladder. Rarely, a TUMOR or TEAR of the tissues will cause bleeding.

See your child's doctor.

No

2. Is it difficult to tell the sex of your infant at birth or shortly after?


Yes

AMBIGUOUS GENITALIA is a birth defect in which the genitals are not well-formed and are difficult to identify.

Your child's doctor may perform some tests to identify the sex of your baby. Treatment may include hormone replacement or surgery.

No

For more information, please talk to your doctor. If you think the problem is serious, call your doctor right away.

This tool has been reviewed by doctors and is for general educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. The information in this tool should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health. Always consult your family doctor with questions about your individual condition(s) and/or circumstances. Source: American Academy of Family Physicians. Family Health & Medical Guide. Dallas: Word Publishing; 1996.

See complete list of charts.