Undescended Testicles: When should one seek medical advice?
• Undescended testicles fail to move into scrotum.
• The condition is usually harmless and may cure itself by the age of 1 year.
• Seek medical advice when you notice undescended testicles in the child.
• Surgery may bring testicles into scrotum.
Undescended testicle is a common childhood condition where one or both testicles of a child fail to move into the scrotum. The scrotum is a sac that contains the testes, blood vessels, and part of the spermatic cord.The condition is usually harmless and may not even require treatment in most cases. The testicles usually descend before the boy is 9 months old. However in some cases the testicles remain undescended and may require medical care. Young parents should be aware of when to seek medical advice in case if undescended testicles.
The testicles form inside a baby’s abdomen during pregnancy and start moving down into the scrotum about two months before birth. When the testicles fail to fully descend down into the correct location they are referred as undescended testicles. Since the testicles are supposed to descend into the scrotum normally about two months before birth, the condition is common in infants who are born early.
The condition is quite common that one out of every 25 boys is born with undescended testicles. The condition is called unilateral cryptorchidism, if only one testicle is undescended. When both the testicles are undescended it is called bilateral cryptorchidism.
The actual causes of undesdended testicles are unknown however child born through abnormal deliveries such as low birth weight, or premature delivery, are more likely to have undescended testicles. A child born in a family that has experienced the condition in the past is more likely to have the condition as compared to a child born in a family that has no history of undescended testicles.
Undescended testicles usually have no symptoms other than not being able to feel the testicles in the scrotum. Your child will not normally experience any pain. While undescended testicles do not present any immediate health problems, you should get some medical advice if you notice your child's testicles are not in the normal place within the scrotum.
The most common treatment for undescended testicles usually includes hormone injections or surgery to try to bring the testicle into the scrotum. Having surgery early may prevent damage to the testicles that can cause infertility. An undescended testicle found later in life may pose risk for cancer and may even need to be removed.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jul 28, 2014
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