Testis, undescended

A testis that has failed to descend from the abdomen to the scrotum. The condition usually affects only 1 testis and occurs in about 1 per cent of full-term and 10 per cent of premature male babies. An undescended testis often descends within months of birth but rarely descends after this time. An undescended testis does not develop normally, is incapable of normal sperm production, and is at increased risk of developing testicular cancer (see testis, cancer of). If both testes are undescended, infertility results. A diagnosis is made during a physical examination after birth or later in infancy. Treatment is by orchidopexy, which usually reduces the risk of later infertility or testicular cancer (see testis, cancer of). A poorly developed undescended testis may be removed if the other is normal.


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