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Undescended Testicle (Cryptorchidism)


A testicle that has not descended into the scrotum is referred to as a cryptorchidism. The testicles begin developing deep within the abdomen early in pregnancy, controlled by various hormones. The testicles begin to descend into the scrotum between 32 and 36 weeks of gestation. One or both testicles have not finished their descend at the time of delivery in 30% of premature male infants and around 3% of full-term male infants. The majority of these will then naturally descend throughout the first three to six months of life. By six months of age, less than 1% of infants continue to have the condition. Affected testicles may be one or both.


With an undescended testicle risk of infertility which is the inability to reproduce is increased,  hernias, testicular cancer, and testicular torsion is (twisting). As the youngster grows older, an unfilled scrotum can also cause severe psychological stress. Early treatment is critical for these reasons.

Certain males are born with a normal descending testicle that appears to travel back up into the abdomen between the ages of 4 and 10. This is referred to as an acquired undescended testicle. This is hypothesized to occur when the spermatic cord linked to the testicle does not expand at the same rate as the rest of the child for unexplained reasons.

Occasionally, a condition known as a retractile testicle is mistaken with an acquired undescended testicle. A testicle that has descended completely into the scrotum occasionally retracts into the abdomen in this scenario. Retraction occurs as a result of an overactive reflex in the cremasteric muscle, which pushes the testicle out of the scrotum. This hyperactive reflex may be present in boys who are apprehensive or ticklish during a testicular check. Because the retractile testicle always returns to the scrotum, it does not increase the risk of infertility or testicular cancer.


Typically, there is just one indication that a kid has an undescended testicle. On the affected side, the scrotum appears undeveloped or smaller. In rare instances, the undescended testicle might twist (testicular torsion), resulting in excruciating groin pain. If this occurs, seek immediate medical attention.


A physical examination will reveal that one or both testicles are missing from the scrotum. The doctor can typically feel the testicle above the scrotum in the majority of cases. If the doctor is unable to locate and feel the testicle, a specialist must perform diagnostic laparoscopy to ascertain its position. Through a small incision, a specifically constructed video camera is implanted to view an area inside the body directly.

Undescended Testicle


Because the actual etiology of this condition is unknown, there is no way to prevent it.


A persistent undescended testicle is often treated between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. The majority of cases can be repaired surgically with a technique called orchiopexy, in which the surgeon inserts the testicle into the scrotum via the regular abdominal entrance and sutures it in place. At times, more extensive surgery is necessary.

Prior to surgery, hormone injections may be attempted. The hormones stimulate the testicles to create more testosterone. This may assist in the testicle's descent into the scrotum.

It may be possible to use artificial implants to replace the testicles if they are absent or need to be removed due to an abnormality later in life if the testicles are absent or require removal due to an abnormality.

When Should You Consult a Doctor.

Consult a doctor if one or both testicles are not palpable within the scrotum. Seek emergency medical assistance if you have severe groin pain.


The prognosis is greatest if the issue is identified and addressed before the child reaches the age of two.

Orchiopexy may lower the chance of infertility by requiring the colder temperature found in the scrotum for optimal sperm formation. After treatment, 50 percent to 60 percent of males with two undescended testicles and 85 percent of males with one undescended testicle are fertile, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine..

Orchiopexy improves the chances of detecting testicular cancer early. Additionally, if performed at an early age, the surgery may help minimize the chances of developing cancer.


No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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