What are undescended testes? — “Testes” is another word for testicles. The testes are found inside a skin sac called the “scrotum.” Before a boy is born, his testes are inside the lower part of his belly.
Just before birth, the testes move down into the scrotum. If this does not happen, doctors call the problem undescended testes, or “cryptorchidism.” It can happen to one or both testes.
Sometimes, one or both testes do not develop normally because of a problem that happens before the baby is born. Doctors call this condition “absent testis.”
How can I tell if my baby has undescended testes? — Most of the time, the doctor finds the problem while doing an exam on the baby soon after birth. It is more common in babies who are born earlier than normal.
How are undescended testes treated? — In most cases, no treatment is needed because the testes move down to the scrotum within a few months after birth. If that does not happen, treatment usually involves surgery to move the testicle or testicles into the scrotum. Surgery can be done as soon as possible after the child is 6 months old. It should be done before he is 2 years old.
Can undescended testes cause other problems? — Men who had undescended testes in childhood are more likely to have:
●Cancer of the testes – Cancer of the testes is rare—even if a man had undescended testes. Still, the doctor or nurse will do exams to check for this at yearly physical exams.
●Trouble getting a woman pregnant (called “infertility”) – This problem is more common in men who had 2 undescended testes. But most of these men are still able to get a woman pregnant.