During the first few months after birth, both the testicles descend into the sacs below the testicles called the scrotum. Undescended testis is a condition when either one or both the testicles do not move down into the scrotal bags.
This condition is more common in premature baby boys where the absence of testicles can be seen a couple of months after birth. During fetal development, the testicles are formed in the abdomen, and during the last few months of fetal development, the testicles slowly move down in a tube-like passage (inguinal canal) into the groin region. During the first few months after delivery, the testicle movement into the scrotum is either delayed or stopped causing undescended testicles.
The absence of testicles in the scrotum and only empty scrotal sacs is the only sign of undescended testis. Generally, a waiting time of four months after birth is advised to check for the descending process of the testicle to take place. After which, a treatment in the early stages will lower the risks of testicular cancer and male infertility.
The presence of undescended testicles in adolescent/young boys might indicate either of the below two other conditions.
- Retractile testicle where the testis moves between the groin and scrotal region and can be guided back during physical examination. This occurs due to the muscular reflex action of scrotal muscles.
- Ascending testicle or acquired undescended testicle where the testis has returned to the groin and cannot be guided back to the scrotum during physical examination.
Causes of undescended Testis
The cause of undescended testis can be due to a combination of genetics, environmental factors, the health of the mother that can together cause hormonal or physical changes, nerve problems, and influence testicular development.
Risk factors include:
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
- Genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome
- Family history with genital development issues
- Maternal habits such as alcohol, smoking, or exposure to chemicals, pesticides, etc during pregnancy
Diagnosis and treatment of undescended Testis
Diagnosis begins with a study of the family history, birth conditions, and a physical examination of the groin region. Hormonal tests, Ultrasound, Laparoscopy may be needed to check the internal condition.
Treatment of undescended testis include:
The goal of treatment is to move the undescended testicle to its proper location in the scrotum.surgery before 18 months is recommended and reduces complications.
- Hormonal treatments with human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) administration can help the movement of the testis into the scrotal sacs. Hormonal disorder treatment is not usually recommended because it is much less effective than surgery.
- Surgery:Orchiopexy – Laparoscopic procedure with a small incision or an open surgery with a large incision to correct the internal condition.
- Other treatments are considered when the above methods do not help. These include inclusion of prosthetics with hormonal treatment to help attain physical maturity and puberty.
Treatment at OMYA
OMYA infertility treatment center assures quality treatment with advanced procedures and an experienced team of endocrinologists, andrologists, and other specialists. They leave no stones unturned to treat thousands of people battling fertility issues with precision and diligence.