An undescended testicle is usually detected at birth. Your family doctor or pediatrician will continue to monitor the condition during regularly scheduled exams, or well-baby visits, for your infant son.
To prepare for your appointment, write down a list of questions to discuss with your doctor. Questions might include:
- How often should I schedule appointments?
- How can I safely examine the scrotum at home to monitor any changes in the undescended testicle?
- When would you recommend seeing a specialist?
- What kinds of tests will my son need?
- What treatment options do you recommend?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will examine your infant son's groin. If a testicle isn't in the scrotum, he or she will try to locate it by lightly pressing against his skin. Your doctor might use a lubricant or warm, soapy water for the exam.
If your doctor feels the testicle somewhere in the inguinal canal, he or she will attempt to move it gently into the scrotum. If it moves only partway into the scrotum, if the movement appears to cause pain or discomfort, or if the testicle immediately retreats to its original location, it may be an undescended testicle. If the testicle can be moved relatively easily into the scrotum and remain there for a while, it's most likely a retractile testicle.
If your son's testicle hasn't descended or can't be located by the time your son reaches 3 or 4 months of age, your doctor should refer you to a specialist in children's genital and urinary tract disorders (pediatric urologist) or a pediatric surgeon for further examination.
April 11, 2013
- Ashley RA, et al. Cryptorchidism: Pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2010;37:183.
- Cooper CS, et al. Undescended testes (cryptorchidism) in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 15, 2013.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Feb. 15, 2013.
- Lao OB, et al. Pediatric inguinal hernias, hydroceles, and undescended testicles. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2012;92:487.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 28, 2013.
- Granberg CF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 28, 2013.