Maternal vegetarian diet in pregnancy, a predisposition to hypospadias?

Soumyodhriti Ghosh, Ramendra Shukla, Vikram Singh Mujalde, Vinita Chaturvedi, Dinesh Kumar Barolia


Background: Hypospadias constitutes one of the commonest surgically treated patient subset in a pediatric surgery set up. The causative factors have always been multifactorial. Maternal age and diet during pregnancy have been attempted to be correlated with the prevalence of hypospadias.

Methods: The current study aims to find a correlation between the rises of hypospadias with increased maternal vegetarian diet taken during pregnancy. The mothers of patients presenting with hypospadias were allotted structured self-completed questionnaires. Obstetric history, dietary patterns and lifestyle information during pregnancy was obtained.

Results: The mothers of patients presenting with hypospadias who had been on a vegetarian diet had an increased incidence of babies presenting with hypospadias as shown in the chart.

Conclusions: Diet during gestation may play a role in the etiology of hypospadias. Although this study is limited by less number of cases, it does show the trend of increased incidence of hypospadias amongst vegetarian mothers.


Gestational vegetarian diet, Hypospadias

Full Text:



North K, Golding J. A maternal vegetarian diet in pregnancy is associated with hypospadias. The ALSPAC Study Team. Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood. BJU Int. 2000;85(1):107-13.

Giordano F, Carbone P, Nori F, Mantovani A, Taruscio D, Figà-Talamanca I. Maternal diet and the risk of hypospadias and cryptorchidism in the offspring. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2008;22(3):249-60.

Rocheleau CM, Romitti PA, Dennis LK. Pesticides and hypospadias: a meta-analysis. J Pediatr Urol. 2009;5(1):17-24.

Chen MJ. Intrauterine growth restriction and hypospadias: is there a connection? Int J Pediatr Endocrinol. 2014;2014(1):20.

Shih EM, Graham JM Jr. Review of genetic and environmental factors leading to hypospadias. Eur J Med Genet. 2014;57(8):453-63

Kalfa N, Philibert P, Baskin LS, Sultan C. Hypospadias: interactions between environment and genetics.Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011;335(2):89-95.

Gaspari L, Paris F, Jandel C, Kalfa N, Orsini M, Daurès JP, et al. Prenatal environmental risk factors for genital malformations in a population of 1442 French male newborns: a nested case-control study. Hum Reprod. 2011;26(11):3155-62.

Toppari J, Virtanen HE, Main KM, Skakkebaek NE. Cryptorchidism and hypospadias as a sign of testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS): environmental connection. Birth Defects Res A ClinMol Teratol. 2010;88(10):910-9.

Yiee JH, Baskin LS. Environmental factors in genitourinary development. J Urol. 2010;184(1):34-41.

Mauduit C, Florin A, Amara S, Bozec A, Siddeek B, Cunha S, et al. Long-term effects of environmental endocrine disruptors on male fertility. Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2006;34(10):978-84.

Main KM. Genital anomalies in boys and the environment. Best Pract Res ClinEndocrinol Metab. 2010;24(2):279-89

Nordkap L, Joensen UN, Blomberg Jensen M, Jørgensen N. Regional differences and temporal trends in male reproductive health disorders. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012; 355(2):221-30.