What happens if the undescended testes are left untreated?

undescended testes are left untreated

An undescended testicle is a common congenital condition that affects about 1 in every 25 male infants. In this condition, one or both of a baby’s testes fail to descend into the scrotum during fetal development. Sometimes this condition only affects one testis, and in most such cases, the condition resolves on its own within a few months. However, you may need surgical intervention if the testes don’t descend within a few months. Therefore, it is vital to be aware of this health condition and make sure that your child receives the best treatment. If the issue of undescended testes are left untreated, it leads to many health issues. 


In this article, you will find details about undescended testicles, the cause of this condition, the effects of this condition, and the treatment options for you. 


Normal testicular development

In normal testicular development, the testes in the baby’s abdomen begin to descend towards the scrotum during the third trimester of the pregnancy. During the development of the fetus, several cord-like structures, like a gubernaculum, hold the testes in place. These cord-like structures extend from the testes to the bottom of the scrotum, and when the testes descend, they pull these cords with them. Usually, the testes drop either shortly before or after the birth. 


The testes produce testosterone, a sex hormone responsible for male characteristics like facial hairs, increased muscle mass, and a deeper voice. The testes continue to develop and mature when they descend into the scrotum. The scrotum has a cooler environment than the body’s core temperature, which is essential for the proper production of sperm. 


Normal development of the testes is essential for proper male reproductive function. Any disruption in the testicular development, such as cryptorchidism or undescended testes, can cause future complications for the baby boy. So, if the condition of undescended testes are left untreated, it can compromise the quality of sperm and cause infertility. 


Symptoms caused by undescended testicles

The absence of one or both testes is the most apparent symptom of undescended testicles. However, as the scrotum is still present, this may not be visibly obvious in some cases. So, in some infants with undescended testis, you may observe a small or asymmetrical scrotum. In some instances, it can cause an inguinal hernia. After birth, doctors usually check for signs of undescended testes.


And if the doctors cannot feel the testes, they are still present in the groin or abdomen of the baby. Furthermore, not all cases of undescended testes are immediately apparent, but doctors diagnose some cases later in life. Such a condition is known as acquired undescended testicles and can develop in boys ages one and ten. The leading cause of acquired undescended testis is a delay in the growth of the spermatic cord that pulls the tests back in the groin. When changing the diaper, check your child’s scrotum, and do not miss regular checkups with your pediatrician to address and identify any issue on time. 


When to consult with a doctor for undescended testes?

Most of the time, doctors quickly notice the condition of undescended testes in the examination right after delivery. However, in the case of acquired it, when you see the signs later, consult with the pediatrician as soon as possible to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Because if the condition of undescended testes are left untreated, it could lead to infertility, among other issues. 


Causes of undescended testes 

The exact cause of undescended testis is unclear, but experts link it to environmental and genetic factors. Some medical experts believe that an imbalance or disruption of hormones during the developmental stages of fetuses may interfere with the regular descent of the testes. Because a balance of hormones, such as testosterone and gonadotropin-releasing hormones, regulates the proper development and descent of the testes. There are several other factors that may also increase the risk of undescended testes in your child, which include:


● Low weight at the time of birth

● Family history of undescended testis

● Defect in the abdominal wall

● Down syndrome

● Klinefelter syndrome 

● Mother’s use of substances and alcohol during pregnancy  

● Premature birth

● Exposure of mother to pesticides and other chemicals


Identifying the risk factors and addressing them early during pregnancy can reduce the likelihood of this condition. However, even if the child experiences undescended testis, early diagnosis, and treatment can minimize potential complications in the future and ensure optimal reproductive health. 


Complications related to undescended testes 

Testes need a cooler environment than the body’s temperature for proper development. So, if the condition of undescended testes are left untreated, it can lead to long-term complications. Some of the significant complications include: 


●     Infertility 

Infertility is one of the most significant complications of undescended testes. Impaired sperm production is the result of this disease, which includes low sperm count and poor-quality sperm. Moreover, the longer the condition of undescended testicles is left untreated, the more it can affect sperm production. This can lead to infertility. 


●     Testicular torsion 

Boys with undescended testis are also at high risk of testicular torsion. A twist in the spermatic cord causes testicular torsion. And this twist can cut off the blood supply. This condition causes severe pain or damage to the testes, so you have to treat it as soon as possible.  


●     Testicular cancer

Males with a history of undescended testes are also at a higher risk of testicular cancer. This is more likely if the condition of undescended testes are left untreated. Testicular cancer is also a risk factor if the undescended testis is in the abdomen rather than the groin or if this condition affects both testes. This is one of the reasons early diagnosis and treatment are essential. 


●     Inguinal hernia 

In some cases, patients with undescended testes experience an inguinal hernia. This type of hernia is a lump of the intestine into the groin. 


Treatment of undescended testicles 

The treatment depends on the patient’s age and the severity of the condition. Standard treatment options include:


●     Hormone therapy 

Hormone therapy for undescended testis involves medication such as gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). These hormones stimulate the descent of the testes. For mild cases of undescended testicles, the doctors recommend hormone therapy. But this type of treatment is usually less effective than a surgical procedure. 


●     Undescended testes surgery 

Laparoscopic surgery is the most common and effective treatment option. Surgeons perform this surgery under general anesthesia. In the procedure, the best laparoscopic surgeon in Lahore moves the testes into the scrotum through a small incision. In some cases, the surgeons do the second surgery if the testes do not descend fully or if there are other complications.  


Undescended testes treatment cost in Pakistan

ALSA Pakistan has the best pediatric surgeon in Lahore who offers the best treatment to patients. The best pediatric surgeon will help support a healthy lifestyle after the surgery by giving post-operative instructions that lead to a speedy recovery. With the advanced medical equipment and skilled surgeon, your child will receive the best care that he requires. 

So, if you are looking for the treatment of undescended testes in Pakistan, ALSA is the best place for you. Because if the condition of undescended testes are left untreated, it may cause severe health complications. We offer low undescended testis surgery costs in Pakistan, which you can easily afford.