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Undescended Testicle or Cryptochidism

Undescended testicle or testis (also called cryptorchidism) is a disorder in which one or both testicles don’t move into the scrotum before birth. Shortly before birth, the testicles usually move through a space from the abdomen (belly) down into the scrotum.

When a testicle doesn’t drop down, it’s undescended. This condition occurs in about 3% of male babies who are born at term and about 30% of premature babies. In fact, almost 100% of all boys who weigh less than 2 pounds at birth will have undescended testis.


MANAGEMENT

_ If the testicles can be felt up in the inguinal canal, they often descend on their own, without any treatment, usually by the baby’s first birthday. If they haven’t moved down on their own by that time, some treatment will be needed. Surgery, called orchiopexy, will be done to move the testicles into the scrotum.

_ Undescended testicles that aren’t corrected may cause fertility problems, such as low sperm counts, later in life. Menwho had an undescended testicle, either fixed by surgery or not, have a greater risk of getting testicular cancer.

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