Undescended testes (also called cryptorchidism or UDT) describes a condition where the testes, which form inside the abdomen, fail to move down into the scrotal sac. This occurs in about 20 percent of premature infant boys and 3 percent of full
The testes usually descend within the first few months of life. By 1 year of age, about 1 percent of boys have an undescended testis. Also, 10 to 15 percent of boys with undescended testes have bilateral (both sides) involvement.
How are undescended testes diagnosed?
The diagnosis of an undescended testis begins with the observation that one or both testes are absent from the scrotal sac.
If a testis is in the scrotum and disappears, it may be retractile. A testis that is temporarily drawn into the groin may require no treatment, while a true undescended testis requires surgery, called orchiopexy, which secures an undescended testis inside the scrotal sac.
What are the treatment options for undescended testes?
Nemours urologists will continue to evaluate the undescended testis until the child is 6 months old. Surgical treatment is recommended if there is failure of the testis to come down.
Reasons for surgical treatment include:
an undescended testis may get injured more easily and undergo twisting or torsion
if an undescended testis is left at a higher body temperature, normal growth of the sperm may not take place
an undescended testis that is not corrected places the child at a higher risk for cancer
an empty scrotum may cause worry and embarrassment for a child later in life
A urine dipstick test is often done as part of an overall urinalysis, but it can also be done on its own, depending on the doctor's concerns. Once a urine sample is collected, a nurse or technician will place a specially treated chemical strip (dipstick) into your child's urine. Patches on the dipstick will change color to indicate the presence of such things as white blood cells, protein, or glucose.
Why It's Done
The results of a urine dipstick test may point to a diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney disease, diabetes, or a urinary tract injury. If test results are abnormal, other tests will be needed before a definite diagnosis can be made.
No preparation other than cleansing the area around the urinary opening is required for the urine dipstick test.
Your child will be asked to urinate into a clean sample cup in the doctor's office. If your child isn't potty trained and can't urinate into a cup, a catheter (a narrow, soft tube) may need to be inserted into the bladder to obtain the urine specimen.
The skin surrounding the urinary opening has to be cleaned and rinsed just before the urine is collected. In this "clean-catch" method, you or your child cleans the skin around the urinary opening with a special towelette. The child then urinates, stops momentarily, and then urinates again into the collection container. Catching the urine in "midstream" is the goal. Be sure to wash your hands and your child's hands after this process.
Once collected, the technician or nurse will then place the dipstick into the urine sample. Collecting the specimen should only take a few minutes.
What to Expect
Because the test involves normal urination; there shouldn't be any discomfort as long as your child can provide a urine specimen. It's important to keep the area around the urinary opening clean before the test and to catch the urine sample midstream.
Getting the Results
The results of the urine dipstick test will be available right away. If abnormalities are found, further urine tests will be needed. Talk to your child's doctor about the meaning of the specific test results.
No risks are associated with taking a urine dipstick test. If a catheterized specimen is required it may cause temporary discomfort and you can discuss any questions you have about this procedure with your healthcare provider.
Helping Your Child
The urine dipstick test is painless. Explaining how the test will be conducted, and why it's being done, can help ease your child's fear. Make sure your child understands that the urinary opening must be clean and the urine must be collected midstream.
If You Have Questions
If you have questions about the urine dipstick test, speak with your doctor.