- Retractile testicles—the testicles can move freely between the scrotum and abdomen. This condition does not require treatment and usually disappears by puberty.
- Ascending testicles—a normal testicle returns to the abdomen
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- Infertility or low fertility—a testicle is more likely to produce sperm in cooler temperature as in the scrotum, the heat inside the body is too high for sperm production.
- Testicular cancer
- Torsion—testicles twist enough so that they cut of the blood flow to the testes. This can cause severe damage to the testicles.
- Emotional distress—as the child ages, they may have problems with the appearance of the empty scrotum.
Giving the problem time to go away on its own:
- In most children, the testes will descend on their own by four months of age.
- Retractile testicles will completely descend at puberty. Further treatment is not needed.
Hormone therapy with
human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)
- This treatment is not used often.
- The hormone helps stimulate testicle development. This may encourage the testicle to move down, as it should.
Surgery called orchiopexy:
- This is done while your child is asleep under anesthesia.
- It is often done with laparoscopic surgery. The doctor will only need to make tiny incisions in the area.
- The testicle is moved down and stitched into place.
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
National Infertility Association http://www.resolve.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html
Infertility Awareness Association of Canada http://www.iaac.ca
Cryptorchidism. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated October 13, 2011. Accessed August 16, 2012.
Undescended testicles. American Academy of Family Physicians Family doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/undescended-testicles.html. Accessed August 16, 2012.
Undescended testicles. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/genitourinary-tract/Pages/Undescended-Testicles.aspx. Accessed August 16, 2012.
Docimo S, et al. The Undescended Testicle: Diagnosis and Management. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Nov 1;62(9):2037
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -