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Undescended testicles

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism

A common childhood condition where a boy's testicles do not descend into the scrotum

About

When in the womb, a baby boy's testes (testicles) will form inside his abdomen. They usually move down into the scrotum by 35 weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes one of the testes, or occasionally both, does not descend and remains in the abdomen. This usually corrects itself within three to six months after birth, but may need treatment otherwise.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of undescended testes icon plus

    There are likely to be no symptoms at all beyond the lack of one testicle or both testicles in the scrotum.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will carry out an examination of your child to determine if one of the testes is undescended (unilateral cryptorchidism) or both are (bilateral cryptorchidism). This will be checked though a physical assessment of the scrotum and the abdomen, which can also ensure they've not temporarily retracted into the abdomen.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    If both testicles remain undescended, your consultant may suspect it's down to hormones. In that case, they may prescribe a course of hormonal treatment. Otherwise, they'll recommend a quick operation called an orchidopexy to bring down the testicle into the scrotum. This is because if the testicle remains in the abdomen, it may not form properly. The procedure is usually advised when the child is around one year old. If an undescended testicle is found to be too underdeveloped, your consultant may remove it. If the condition is treated early, there is often no long-term issue with fertility.
Consultant in theatres

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We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

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    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

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    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Childrens enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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