We understand that problems with the genitals, urinary tract and bladder can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for your child, and upsetting for parents of babies, children and teens. Our Urology team at Seattle Children’s Hospital is always careful to take you and your child’s privacy, feelings and needs into account during testing and treatment.

Treatment options

  • We provide the support you need to manage common conditions such as wetting or frequent, painful urination.
  • For complex conditions, we offer a variety of treatments, including robotic surgery.

US News Urology 2014

Why choose Seattle Children’s

We understand that children and teens have different needs and concerns than adults. Our approach aims to treat the whole child. We offer educational, social and psychological support that is appropriate for your child or teen’s needs. When your child needs to see several specialists, we will work with you to schedule those appointments on the same day, whenever possible.

Our clinic is a world leader in the treatment of complex genital and bladder malformations. We also have related programs in reconstructive pelvic medicine and disorders of sex development.

Conditions We Treat

We see children with many conditions affecting the genitals, urinary tract and bladder, including:

  • Many children wet the bed. Most outgrow bedwetting by the time they are about 7 years old. You may want to talk with your child's primary care doctor if your child is older and wets the bed more than once in a while. The doctor may check for signs of a urinary tract infection, diabetes or nerve problems. Daytime wetting refers to children who have wetting accidents after going through toilet training. Read more.

  • Bladder exstrophy is a bladder that is not formed right. In most cases, the bladder and genitals are split in half, are turned inside out and sit outside the body. Read more.

  • Daytime wetting refers to children who have wetting accidents after going through toilet training. Daytime Wetting (PDF), (Spanish) (PDF)

  • The medical term "intersex" refers to a group of conditions that affect how the genitals form. In these conditions, a baby's genitals may not look typical of a boy or a girl. The baby's external genitals (penis or vagina) may not match with their internal genitals (testes or ovaries). This makes it difficult to determine the baby's sex. Read more.

  • Epispadias is a rare birth defect that involves the location of the opening of the tube that drains urine (urethra). The malformation varies from child to child. In boys with epispadias, the urethra opening usually is on the top or side of the penis rather than the tip. In girls, the opening is usually between the clitoris and the labia or in the belly.

  • Hypospadias occurs when the opening of the penis is not at the very tip, but somewhere along the underside. Read more. (PDF)

  • A hydrocele occurs when fluid collects in the tissue surrounding the testicles. Hydroceles may cause swelling in the scrotum around the testicle. Hydroceles usually cause no pain, but in some cases, surgery may be needed to correct the condition.

  • Hydronephrosis is when one or both kidneys get bigger because urine backs up or is blocked. The condition can make it more likely that your child will get urinary tract infections. As a result, doctors sometimes prescribe low doses of antibiotics to prevent infection.

  • Neurogenic bladder is a condition in which your child's bladder does not empty properly due to damage to part of their nervous system. Depending on the cause of the problem, your child may not be able to control urination (incontinence) or may have trouble emptying their bladder completely.

  • Urinary tract infections are common in children. They occur when bacteria get into the urinary tract and infect the bladder, urethra, kidneys or the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys (ureters).Some signs of UTI are fever, pain when urinating or in the belly or pelvic area, nausea and vomiting, frequent urination and changes in the look or smell of urine. Read more. (PDF)

  • When one or both testicles do not move down into the scrotum before a boy's birth, the condition is called undescended testes. Most undescended testes move down on their own by the time a baby is 9 months old. If they do not move by the time your child is 1 year old, he should be seen by a doctor with training in urogenital problems (urologist).

  • Vesicouretral reflux is a condition in which urine travels backward: from the bladder to the kidney instead of from the kidney to the bladder. Children with VUR are more likely to get kidney infections.

  • Voiding dysfunction is a medical term that means your child is not emptying their bladder normally. There are many voiding dysfunctions. For example, children may wait too long to urinate, urinate too often, dribble urine or have wetting accidents during the day or the night.

Services We Offer

  • We diagnose and manage infants, children and adolescents who have disorders that affect genital development, intersex conditions and ambiguous genitalia. The providers on our team work together to provide expert, timely care. Our mission is to improve the care of these children by educating families and healthcare providers, doing research to assess outcomes and reviewing current medical practice. Learn more about the DSD program.

  • The Reconstructive Pelvic Medicine Clinic treats problems with parts of the body in the pelvic area. The pelvic area includes the urinary tract, intestines, anus, rectum, internal sex organs and genitals. Children may have problems with the way these parts work because of how the parts formed before birth or because of an illness or injury that happened later. Learn more about Reconstructive Pelvic Medicine.

  • Some common urologic conditions may be treated successfully at home. Learn more about resources including videos, support groups and useful links.

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