Under normal conditions, the testicles move into their proper position in the scrotum, below the penis, before birth. Undescended testicles are not common, but they are common among premature baby boys. While usually only one testicle is affected, in about 10% of the cases, both testicles may stay stuck inside the body. Most of the time, the testicles will drop without intervention within the first few months of the child’s life. Sometimes parents may choose to have the testicle relocated to the scrotum by surgery.
It is not clear what can cause this condition, but it is thought that a combination of factors may result in undescended testicles. These factors include genetics, the mother’s health while pregnant and other environmental factors that could interfere with hormones, physical changes and nerve activity that can influence testicular development.
Sometimes the condition goes untreated and can affect the reproductive health and fertility of an adult male. Complications associated with undescended testicles include testicular cancer and fertility problems.
When the testicles do not descend as they should, they are in the body and therefore at a higher temperature than normal. This higher temperature affects the sperm count and quality, which causes a decrease in fertility.
Testicular cancer is also an issue, especially for males with both testicles undescended. Correction may decrease the risk of future testicular cancer, but it will not eliminate it. For individuals with testicular cancer, the cancer itself or treatment of it can prevent fathering a child.
Neway Fertility offers hope for these individuals. If you have an undescended testicle and desire to be a father, contact our office, and schedule a consultation appointment. We can provide you with treatment options.