Testicles can be in the scrotum by the time the boy is 6 months old, but can be retractile up until puberty.
Overview of Undescended Testicle
I can only see one of my son’s testicles?
- The testicle can be absent from the scrotum either because:
- The testicle is retractile (able to go up and down)
- The testicle has not dropped into the scrotum
- Testicles can go up and down between the scrotum and the groin in young children.
- Young children have a strong muscular reflex that can lift the testicle back into the groin.
- The best way to check if the testicle has dropped into the scrotum is to look when he is in a warm bath and crossing his legs.
- If the testicle is retractile, as your son grows, you will notice the testicle sitting more often in the scrotum.
My son has an undescended testicle – what happens next?
- Testicles are formed in the baby’s tummy and drop down into the scrotum through the groin by the time the baby is born
- 4% of newborns have an undescended testicle which drops to 1% of 1 year olds
- If the testicle hasn’t dropped into the scrotum by 6 months old, the guidance is to operate to free the testicle from the groin and fix it into the scrotum
- If the testicle can’t be felt in the groin, it may still be in the tummy or may not have developed at all
Treatments for Undescended Testicle
If the undescended testicle sits within the groin, your son will need an operation to bring the testicle into the scrotum.
The operation involves a general anaesthetic and is a day case procedure.
A small cut is made in the groin above where the testicle can be felt. The testicle is then freed up and fixed into the scrotum with a small stitch.
If the testicle cannot be felt within the groin your son will need to have an operation where a camera is placed into the tummy to look for the testicle (Laparoscopy).
At Laparoscopy there are 3 outcomes:
- The testicle hasn’t developed – no further action required.
- The testicle is present in the abdomen – the testicle is then freed up, and a further operation to fix the testicle into the scrotum will be done in 6 months.
- The testicle is present in the groin (but can’t be felt) and can be fixed into the scrotum as above.
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Contact your GP and ask for a referral to the Urology Partnership.
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