Cryptorchidism occurs when the testicle fails to descend to its normal place, which is the scrotum. This problem is found in children by up to 3% with normal children, and up to 21% with premature babies.

The testicles must be at a temperature two or three degrees lower than body temperature, and therefore an undescended testicle faces the risk of not being able to produce sperm properly.

In this article, we explain the causes of an undescended testicle, and the best ways to treat it.

Cause of an undescended testicle

The exact cause is not known, but one of the causes of an undescended testicle can be expected as follows:

  • The testicle is abnormal from the beginning of its formation.
  • The testicles accidentally fall out of the scrotum during pregnancy, and this condition is called an ectopic testicle.
  • The baby’s hormones fail to stimulate the testicles to fall in properly.
  • The testicle does not adhere well to the scrotum, even though it has fallen into the scrotum.

Care should be taken to conduct a physical examination of the child regularly so that it is easy to detect the undescended testicle if it occurs [1]

undescended testicle diagnosis

There are no clear symptoms of undescended testicle in children, only the scrotum appears empty, the condition can be diagnosed by external examination of the testicle at birth, or shortly after birth.

In some cases, the testicles shrink and do not appear in the scrotum. There is no need to worry in this case, as it is a normal condition that does not need treatment, but it must be distinguished and differentiated from the undescended testicle by the specialist doctor.

The diagnosis of an undescended testicle does not require tests or examinations, as it is easy to identify, but in some rare cases it is difficult to detect an undescended testicle with a physical examination, and the doctor resorts to an endoscope to confirm the presence of the testicles in the abdomen. [1] [2] [4]

Undescended testicle treatment

The testicles must settle in the scrotum before the child reaches 6 months. If the descent of the testicles into the scrotum does not occur at this time, rapid intervention is required to treat the condition.

There are treatment options for an undescended testicle, including the following:

  • hormone therapy

The doctor resorts to this type of treatment in some special cases where the testicle is close to the scrotum. The specialist injects the child with hormones to encourage the testicles to fall completely into the scrotum.

  • surgical intervention

Surgery is the most common treatment for an undescended testicle. This surgery is known as orchid fixation, in which the surgeon moves the testicles from their place and places them in the scrotum.

It is preferable to perform this surgery for the child before his first year of age, the longer the waiting period, the greater the chance of infection due to testicular damage from a higher temperature than the normal range for it.

In many cases, an undescended testicle is associated with an increased chance of later infection with some serious conditions, such as:

  1. At puberty by 1%.
  2. Hernia near the groin.
  3. .

In most cases of undescended testicles, the surgeon finds the testicle in the groin. He begins by making a small incision to precisely locate it in the groin, then moves it out of place and secures it into the scrotum through another opening.

In other cases, the testicle is located in the abdomen. The doctor performs a laparoscopy to locate the testicle. The process of lowering the testicle from the abdomen into the scrotum requires one surgery, and sometimes it needs two separate operations.

The surgeon finishes returning the testicle to the scrotum and closing the openings. The entire surgery is performed while the child is under the influence. The surgery takes only one hour. The child can go home on the same day of the surgery. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]