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What is undescended testis (cryptorchidism)?

What is undescended testis (cryptorchidism)?


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It is defined as the fact that the testes do not descend to the base of the scrotum at birth.

Undescended testes are seen in 3-4% of the newborns. This ratio can reach up to 30% in premature cases. The testis descends spontaneously in the first three months in most children. The incidence of undescended testes after 3 months is 0.8%. In the majority of cases (80%), the undescended testis is unilateral.

Your abdomen may seem a strange place for the testicles, but it is not. Testes in males and ovaries in females develop from the same embryonic tissue in the fetus. The ovaries remain in place. The testes should descend into the groin and the scrotal sac at the base of the penis in the eighth month of pregnancy. However, this event does not occur in 3-4% of the boys born at term and in a third of the preterms. The result is an undescended testis.

The most common type (44%) is that the testis is in the scrotum but at an elevation.

Due to the mobile characteristics of the testicles, it may not be easy to determine whether they are descending or not.

Normally the testes hang out in extreme heat. This is a mechanism to protect the sperm from heat and when the environment is very cold or when they are touched, they retreat to the body (as a protection against extreme cold and injury).

In some children, the testes are hypersensitive and are stored in the body for a long time. Usually the left testis is lower than the right testis, which may give the impression that the right testis has not descended (and causes many children to worry).

Undescended testes can be diagnosed by examining the presence of both testes in the scrotum even when the baby is in the hot bath.

Undescended testes do not cause urination or pain and descend spontaneously.

Only 5 or 4 of the 1000 male infants did not descend until they reached the age of one.

A primary testis remains normal until 2 years of age. after this age the structure begins to deteriorate. Early diagnosis and treatment, if necessary, are therefore important.


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