Health Problems Associated With an Undescended Testicle
Having an undescended testicle is not a good thing. There are many health problems that can occur as a result of having one. These include infertility, early puberty, and an increased risk of testicular cancer.
During the early years of life, about three percent of boys have an undescended testicle. It is considered a birth defect and in most cases self-corrects within four months of birth. However, there are some cases of undescended testicles that remain in the abdomen after birth. In these cases, a doctor may order a series of tests to determine if the boy has a genital abnormality.
A recent study found that boys with congenital cryptorchidism, a condition characterized by an undescended testicle, had smaller postpubertal testicular size than controls. This result was based on longitudinal measurements using a nonlinear mixed-effect model. The models were adjusted for the age at peak testicular growth and the testicular length of the control groups. The modeled postpubertal volume of the undescended testis did not differ significantly between the unilaterally and unilaterally operated testes.
In the study, 165 boys with a history of congenital cryptorchidism were invited for a pubertal follow-up. Of these boys, 52 were unilaterally and 65 were bilaterally cryptorchid. They all agreed to a pubertal follow-up. The control group consisted of healthy boys.
A group of researchers evaluated testosterone levels and other reproductive hormones in early puberty. They also investigated the pattern of testicular growth to determine whether it could predict the future reproductive potential of the fetus. Their results suggested that the smaller size of the undescended testicle was a risk factor for testicular tumors in boys. Moreover, they also found lower testosterone levels in obese males.
The incidence of undescended testicles is greater in preterm babies than in full-term babies. Surgical removal of the testes is usually performed within the first year of life. It is a very safe surgery. It is usually performed through an incision in the natural skin crease in the lower abdomen.
The researchers noted that the onset of pubertal testicular growth was 11.7 years in the case and 15.0-year-old in the control group. This was a significant advance in bone age. The boys’ bone ages were advanced by 3.5 years due to the early onset of puberty.
The undescended testicle is a common cause of delayed puberty. In some cases, a doctor may suggest a course of hormone injections to “jump start” puberty. These treatments are usually given two to three times a week for 3-6 weeks.
Having an undescended testicle can cause fertility problems, even in the teen years. In addition, it can increase the risk of cancer and testicular dysfunction. This means that a child with an undescended testicle should be monitored by his doctor.
Some researchers suggest that hormonal therapy can help boys with UDT. This type of treatment is most likely to work when the condition is diagnosed in childhood. Surgical correction can be performed later in life, but the quality of future sperm is decreased.
The best time to have surgery is when the baby is between six and twelve months of age. An incision is made in the scrotum, which allows the surgeon to get a view of the testicle. The testicle is then moved into the correct position. If the testicle is not corrected by the child’s first birthday, sperm counts are lower and the child has a higher chance of infertility.
A small study found that young men who had the surgery during the first year of life had a better total sperm count than those who did not have the operation. However, it was not possible to determine whether the timing of the operation affected the later fertility of the child.
An incision is made in the inguinal canal, which is where the testicle is located. The scrotum is a sack of skin hanging behind the penis. In some cases, the testicle is placed inside the scrotum with the help of stitches.
Bringing the testicles into the scrotum is a way of lowering the risk of infertility and testicular cancer in the future. It can also improve the son’s body image during adolescence and into adulthood.
The testicles usually fall into the scrotum in the early months of life. This happens because the scrotum is cooler than the abdominal cavity. If the testicles are left in the abdominal cavity, the temperature increases and negatively affect sperm production. The scrotum is 3 to 5 degrees cooler than the core temperature of the body.
In some cases, doctors will recommend tests to determine the presence of an undescended testicle. If the testicle is detected, the child’s healthcare provider will recommend testing and possibly surgery to correct the condition.
Hernias and testicular torsion
During the first 6 months of life, most testicular anomalies are diagnosed. If the diagnosis is uncertain, consult a urologist. The time to operate depends on the affected testis.
The incidence of undescended testicles decreases with age. They usually present in full-term boys but are also seen in infants and premature males. In addition, the development of this anomaly is associated with a higher risk of testicular malignancy.
Symptoms of this condition are similar to those of an incarcerated hernia. These include groin redness, a mass, and tenderness. A CT scan can be useful in making the diagnosis. If the mass is too large, more advanced methods might be required.
Although not often observed, the presence of an undescended testicle can interfere with spermatogenesis. If the testicle is left untreated, it can suffer serious damage. However, it can be salvaged if it is identified quickly. Surgical treatment may include hormonal or surgical modalities.
The earliest referral for urologic surgery is important to prevent adverse consequences. Identifying associated syndromes, such as subfertility and testicular malignancy, is an important step.
If the undescended testicle is identified during the neonatal period, it can be operated on. This surgery, called orchiopexy, involves a one-inch cut in the groin area. It is usually successful and allows the child to go home the same day.
Testicular torsion is a serious medical emergency. It occurs when the spermatic cord twists inside the tunica vaginalis. If not treated, the testicle can infarct within hours. The best way to diagnose testicular torsion is to look for the symptoms. If you suspect a hernia, a testicular torsion, or an inguinal cyst, you should have your child evaluated immediately.
For those that are not born with an undescended testicle, the best time to get them checked is during an annual physical exam. If you are unsure of the diagnosis, consult a pediatric urologist.
Several genetic mutations have been linked to the increased risk of this condition. It is therefore essential to make a high index of suspicion. The diagnosis is complicated in non-traumatic cases, and it is important to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis.
Increased risk of testicular cancer
Among men, an increased risk of testicular cancer is associated with the presence of an undescended testicle. It has been reported that more than one-third of male newborns weigh less than 2.3 kg, and about 3% of all males have an undescended testicle.
If you have an undescended testicle, it is recommended that you undergo surgery as soon as possible. The goal of surgery is to remove the undescended testicle and relocate it to the scrotum. However, even with surgery, the risk of developing testicular cancer remains high.
The main risk factor for testicular cancer is the presence of an undescended testicle. In addition to this, a family history of testicular cancer is also a risk factor. Having a brother or father with testicular cancer increases your chance of developing the disease.
Other risks of testicular cancer include the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus may increase the risk of testicular cancer in people with AIDS. It is unclear if it causes the disease or just affects the immune system.
In addition to these, men with a family history of testicular cancer are between 12 and 18 times more likely to develop it than those without a family history. If you have a family history of the disease, you should perform regular self-exams and follow up with your physician.
Age is a risk factor for testicular cancer. It is more common in adults, although it occurs in children and infants as well. It is rare before puberty and most men live for more than five years after the diagnosis.
Another known risk factor is the presence of multiple atypical nevi on the abdomen. These nevi are found on the back, face, chest, and belly. Almost all germ cell cancers are associated with isochromosome 12p. It is also known that the risk of testicular cancer is higher in Asian-American men than in White or Black men.
Testicular cancer is a relatively uncommon form of cancer, but it can occur at any age. In the United States, it is more common in men younger than forty. It is less common in Asia and India. It is estimated that about 80 percent of testicular cancer cases occur in men under the age of 44.
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