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Will a child with absent testis lead a normal life?

Q: My two years old son weighs 12 kg. His one testis is absent and the other is atrophic or non-functional. Will he grow up normally? Does external hormone therapy have any side effects?

A:In case of absent testis (cryptorchidism), a thorough physical examination by the clinician along with imaging tests (Ultrasonography and /or MRI) is done to locate the testis.

Occasionally, laparoscopic approach is done to diagnose and treat the undescended testis at the same time. As the testis develops inside the abdomen during the intrauterine development and later migrates to the definitive position in the scrotum, the arrest in descent may happen anywhere along the path. Therefore, impalpable testis may very well be placed inside the abdominal cavity rather than being totally absent.

If both the testis are effectively nonfunctional (due to various reasons), then a male child is not only infertile but may also need testosterone supplement at the time of puberty to support the need for development of masculine features and growth. For this you should consult a pediatric endocrinologist.

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