Undescended testicle is a problem that testicles do not fall into the scrotum or the bag completely. The testicles normally descend before birth or within a year following the birth. However, in cryptorchid testicle disorder, testicles remain in the abdomen or groin. Frequency of this disorder is higher in premature infants.
What causes the testicles undescendence?
There is no certain information why undescended testicle disorder occurs, but researchers think that it may be because of a hormonal imbalance wetween mother and embryo or abnormal reaction of embryo towards mother’s hormons during pregnancy.
While 35% of babies born naturally have undescended testicles, the percentage of premature infants having undescenced testicles is as high as 50%.
Testicles not falling in scrotum, is not always a cause for concern. Children between the ages of 1-10 often have retractile (descending-undescending) testicles. These children have normal testicular descendence, however during an examination, or in case of catching cold, or fear causes reflexes and the testicles move against the inguinal canal. If one testicle is undescended, however, in uch a situation a specialist must be seen immediately.
What are the risks of undescended testicles?
It should be noted that undescended testicle disorder increases the risk of inguinal hernia, infertility, and testicular cancer. If your child have severe pain in his groin or hypersensitivity, you should consult a specialist without delay.
Undescended testicles are mostly observed within the first year of new-born babies carefully. If testicles do not descend within the 10-months of the birth, they probably do not descend later than that time, and are needed to be descended by an operation, optimally within the first two year.
What is the treatment of undescended testicle?
The most commonly used method in undescended testicle disorder is known as orchiopexy surgical procedure. Undescended testicle surgery is done to increase fertilization (reproduction, in order to prevent infertility). Orchiopexy is performed with very high success rate. Laparoscopy, or even inguino abdominal exploration is the first application in the treatment of the non-palpable testicles. The most ideal time to treat undescended testicle is around age 1-2. Hormonal therapy could be used in the treatment of undescended testicles instead of surgical operation. 5000 -10 000 units of chorionic gonadotropin hormone in a time periof of 2-4 weeks divided into several doses, or HCG and luteinizing hormone should be used together or seperately.
In general, hormonal treatment can be started in infants 6 months old and older. The success rate is around 60-70%, even though it is not as high as surgical operation.
Although, the outer look of genitals of a baby looks normal, parents should examine their baby’s testicles, and check if both of them are descended. If you find an abnormal situation, you should immediately consult a urologist.
Int. Dr. Ahmet Bahadır UÇAR
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