Cryptorchidism is a condition that affects a small percentage of the male population, with about 3% of all full-term and 30% of all premature infant boys born with this condition. But what is cryptorchidism?
Cryptorchidism is a condition in which the testes don’t descend from the scrotum. It’s the most common condition of the testes and scrotum. The diagnosis of this condition isn’t, however, always a cause for concern as in approximately 80% of cases the testes will descend as normal.
Symptoms of Cryptorchidism
There are several notable symptoms associated with cryptorchidism, including a greater risk of cancer, infertility and psychological problems. If you’d like to learn more about this condition, click here to contact a leading paediatric surgeon.
- Cancer – 1 in 500 men born with cryptorchidism will develop testicular cancer, which puts them at a four to tenfold risk of diagnosis. This usually affects men between the ages of 30 and 40, though men at other ages are also at greater risk.
- Infertility – Men born with undescended testes have a slightly higher chance of being infertile than other men. Whereas infertility among the general male population is 6%, it’s 10% among men diagnosed with cryptorchidism.
- Psychological – There are also psychological consequences occasionally associated with cryptorchidism. Some men with undescended testes experience psychological problems, including a lack of confidence.
These are the most common symptoms associated with cryptorchidism.
Causes of Cryptorchidism
As in many cases no abnormality can be identified, the causes of cryptorchidism are not always known. However, cryptorchidism is associated with a number of conditions, including the following:
- Premature births – Premature make babies are at a heightened risk of cryptorchidism, as are babies with a low birth weight, as it is a common symptom of premature births.
- Diabetes and obesity – The condition is prevalent among male babies whose mothers suffer from diabetes or obesity. Cryptorchidism is also associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
- Hereditary – While cryptorchidism isn’t necessarily hereditary (many children whose fathers have undescended testes don’t have cryptorchidism), it is more prevalent among males whose relatives have suffered from a testicular condition.
There are a number of diseases and symptoms in parents that are associated with cryptorchidism. However, as many young males have no identifiable abnormalities that can be associated with it, it’s often seen by many medical professionals as a condition that is sporadic. Moreover, it’s not always a condition at birth, as some adolescents may also experience cryptorchidism even after puberty, though such cases are quite rare.
In conclusion, cryptorchidism is the most common condition of the testes and scrotum. Only a small percentage of the male population is affected by the condition, with 80% of all cases resolved naturally during the first year.
There are, however, some serious symptoms associated with cryptorchidism, including heightened risk of cancer, infertility and psychological problems. In many cases, there is no logical explanation for the condition, however, it may be caused by endocrine disrupter as well as premature births. Premature male babies are at a greater risk of suffering from cryptorchidism.