Cryptorchidism (or undescended testes) is a condition seen in newborns when one or both of the male testes have not passed down into the scrotal sac. Ten percent of cases are bilateral (involve both testes). Cryptorchidism is more commonly seen in premature males because the testes do not descend from the abdomen to the scrotal sac until the seventh month of fetal development.
Undescended testes may occur for several reasons. While prematurity is a leading cause, other causes may include hormonal disorders, spina bifida, retractile testes (a reflex that causes a testicle to move back and forth from the scrotum to the groin), or testicular absence.
According to pediatric urologists:
A nonpalpable testis (unable to feel upon examination) is the most common symptom of cryptorchidism. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms of cryptorchidism may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis of undescended testes is made based on a complete medical history and physical examination.
Three quarters of undescended testes usually resolve by 3 months of age and 99 percent resolve by one year without any intervention. Resolution occurs as the testicles (or testes) descend from the inguinal canal (a small internal passageway that runs along the abdomen near the groin) into the scrotal sac.
Specific treatment for undescended testes will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
Treatment may include:
If cryptorchidism is not repaired, the following complications may occur as your child grows and matures:
Please consult your doctor with any questions or concerns you may have regarding this condition.
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