How will undescended testis affect my son's general health?
Q: My son is 7 months old and we recently noticed that his right scrotum is empty. We consulted his paediatrician and he told us that this condition is called undescended testis and it is a normal occurrence in children. He told us that his testis will descend to its location very soon. Could you please tell us whether his testis is going to descend or not and will this undescended testis going to affect my son's health in anyway?
A:One sided undescended testis (resulting in emptiness in one half of the scrotum) is one of the most common congenital anomalies found at birth and may affect up to 2% of full term male newborns. Normally testes in a male child develops inside the abdominal cavity and descend to their final position in the scrotum during second trimester of pregnancy. In case of undescended testis, it may be located anywhere along the path of descent. Thus it may be inside the abdominal cavity (thus not palpable) or outside the abdominal cavity and in the inguinal canal (which may be palpable). Approximately 70-77 % of the undescended testes descend spontaneously usually by 3 months of age. The testis is unlikely to descend to scrotum after 1 year of age. For normal sperm production to occur in a testis, it is necessary for the testis to descend into the scrotum. Also an undescended intraabdominal testis has higher than normal chances of developing cancer. Because of both these reasons surgical repositioning into the scrotum is recommended for undescended testis. According to the latest recommendations, definitive treatment of an undescended testis should take place by 1 year of age.