Undescended Testes

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% of premature infant boys and 3% of full
term newborns.

The testes usually descend within the first few months of life. By 1 year of age, about 1% of boys have an undescended testis. Also, 10 to 15% 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 through age
6 months. 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

What Can I Do About My Child's Bedwetting?

My 12-year-old son still frequently wets the bed. How can I help him?
Mark

Bedwetting, or enuresis, affects many older kids and even teens. Although the chances are good that your son will outgrow the condition, consider talking to your doctor, who can help determine possible causes and suggest the best treatment.

Treatment methods may include behavior modification, the use of a bedwetting alarm, medication, counseling, and other methods. Most important, knowing that he has the support and understanding of his family can help your son to feel less frustrated or ashamed about wetting the bed.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: October 2012

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