Children's Hospital Colorado

Undescended Testicles in Children

What is an undescended testicle?

During fetal development, the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. When a testicle does not migrate downward, it is an undescended testicle. The testicle may descend into the proper position without treatment within 3 to 4 months of life. If this does not occur, the risk of infertility increases. Warmer temperatures within the abdomen can impair the development of the testicles and the production of sperm. Undescended testicles are also slightly more prone to testicular cancer.

What causes undescended testicle?

The exact cause of this condition is unknown.

Who gets undescended testicle?

Undescended testes occur in about 1% to 3% of male infants, 21% of premature male infants, and 3% to 4% of full-term infants.

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