An undescended testis is a condition which arises when the testis hasn’t moved into the scrotum (a bag behind the penis) during the time of foetal development. Medically, this condition is known as cryptorchidism.
This condition is not rare to find at child birth and the total number of cases with one undescended testis is more as compared to both testis. Mostly, the condition gets back to normal by its own by the age of one to years after child birth, but if it doesn’t, then it can be treated through surgery.
Causes of undescended testis
The exact cause of undescended testicle/ cryptorchidism is not clear. It can happen because of multiple reasons, including maternal health, improper care during pregnancy, genetics, hormonal reasons, etc.
However, it is recommended by doctors to get the health of your baby diagnosed just after he is born, early detection and early treatment would be safe for long run and would also help in preventing other complications.
Symptoms of undescended testis
Undescended testicle condition can either be visible or invisible.
Doctors usually address this condition through physical examination once after the baby is born. Normally, in more than half of the total cases, undescended testicle can easily be diagnosed.
But in other cases when it is not visible, then the doctors may require other testings.
Risk factor leading to undescended testis
The risk of undescended testicles increases, if any of the below factors is present:
- A premature birth of a baby
- A low birth weight
- Tobacco consumption during pregnancy
- Alcohol consumption during pregnancy
- Exposure to pesticides
- Conditions that slow foetal growth like down’s syndrome
- A family history of undescended testicles or other genital development problem
Complication related to undescended testis
- Fertility problem
The temperature of undescended testis can turn very high and result in a poor quality of sperm or low sperm count.
- Testicular cancer
Testicular cancer is another very major complication that may arise due to undescended testis.
- Testicular torsion
When the spermatic cord gets twisted, then it usually arises a condition called testicular torsion.
- Inguinal hernia
When intestinal tissue pushes into the groin through weakness, especially when the area is loose, it usually refer as a condition named inguinal hernia.
Another complication includes trauma which occurs when the testicle present in groin gets damaged through pressure.
Undescended testis usually require a surgery. The condition is fixed by moving such testicle to its right location inside the scrotum. It is advisable to get the treatment done before the child turns 12 months old, since if testicle treatment that is done earlier then it reduces the potential future complications like testicle cancer, or infertility.
In many cases, the undescended testicles moves to the right position on its own, but if it doesn’t happen by itself till the baby turns 12 months old then doctors suggest either a laparoscopic surgery or open surgery. Usually the kind of surgery depends on the health of children and some other factors. In situations where the length of the cord is not sufficient to bring testis down to the scrotum Micro Transplantation of testis is suggested procedure.
Later, when the condition is treated successfully, then the doctor would monitor the development through ultrasound or other physical test.
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