A boy's testicles develop inside the abdomen before birth. They move down into the scrotum just before or after birth. An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism) is when it does not move down into the scrotum.
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It is not always known why this happens. It is thought to be a problem with the way the testicles develop.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
The main symptom is not being able to see or feel the testicle.
You will be asked about your child's symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the testicles. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Images may need to be taken to locate the testicle. This can be done with ultrasound or laparoscopy.
- Waiting for the testicle to descend on its own
- Surgery to move the testicle down and stitch it into place
- Hormone therapy (not common)
There are no current guidelines to prevent this problem.
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
National Infertility Association
Cryptorchidism. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/cryptorchidism. Accessed September 22, 2020.
Tekgul S, Dogan HS, et al; European Society for Paediatric Urology and European Association of Urology (ESPU/EAU). Guidelines on paediatric urology. EAU 2017 Mar.
Undescended testicles. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/undescended-testicles.html. Accessed September 22, 2020.
Undescended testicles. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/genitourinary-tract/Pages/Undescended-Testicles.aspx. Accessed September 22, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD Last Updated: 9/22/2020