UNDESCENDED TESTICLE

Description

  • The testicles are not in their usual place in the scrotum
  • Usually just one testicle is affected
  • Uncommon in general, but common among baby boys born prematurely
  • Typically resolves on its own within the first few months of life

Symptoms

  • Not seeing or feeling a testicle

Causes

  • Exact cause is unknown
  • Genetics
  • Maternal health
  • Environmental factors
  • Nerve activity that influence the development of the testicles

Risk Factors

  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Family history of undescended testicles
  • Alcohol use by the mother during pregnancy
  • Cigarette smoking by the mother or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Parents’ exposure to some pesticides

Diagnostic Tests

  • A doctor can feel the undescended testicle in the abdomen
  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with contrast dyes

Treatment

  • An orchidopexy to move the testicle(s) into the correct position
  • Surgery is ideally carried out before 12 months of age
  • Hormone treatment
  • Saline testicular prostheses

Medications

  • An injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)

Lifestyle Management

  • It’s important to check the condition of the testicles after surgery
  • Help the child by being aware of the development of his body
  • Check the position of the testicles regularly during diaper changes and baths
  • Self-examination of testicles will be an important skill for early detection