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What is an undescended testicle?

An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism) is a condition in which one or both testicles have not descended into the scrotum before birth, a common developmental process in male infants. This condition is relatively common among newborns, especially in those born prematurely. If a testicle remains undescended, it can lead to problems such as reduced fertility, a higher risk of developing testicular cancer, and potential psychological and aesthetic issues.


The diagnosis of an undescended testicle is made during a physical examination. A pediatrician can usually feel whether the testicles are in place during routine check-ups after birth. In cases where the testicle is not clearly palpable, additional diagnostic methods such as ultrasound may be used to determine their location. It is important to monitor this issue with a pediatrician, as in some cases, the testicle may spontaneously descend during the first year of life.


If the testicle does not descend on its own, treatment is recommended. Treatment options include hormonal therapy and surgical intervention. Hormonal therapy can encourage the descent of the testicle. Surgical intervention, known as orchidopexy, is most commonly recommended and performed to permanently place the testicle in the scrotum. This surgery is usually planned when the child is between 6 months and 2 years old, as early treatment can help avoid long-term problems such as infertility and an increased risk of cancer. The surgery is typically short, performed under general anesthesia, and has a very high success rate with minimal risks.
After the operation, it is important to monitor the child’s recovery and development, with regular follow-up exams to ensure that the testicle has remained in place and is developing normally.