Cryptorchidism: Definition and Effects - QS Study
QS Study

The condition in which one or both testes fail to descend into the scrotum is called cryptorchidism. It may develop after infancy, sometimes as late as young adulthood, but that is exceptional. It is the most common genital problem encountered in pediatrics. It is associated with impairment of germ cell maturation and subsequent infertility in adulthood.

Causes

The exact cause isn’t recognized. A combination of genetics, maternal health, and other environmental factors might disorder the hormones, physical changes and nerve movement that influence the growth of the testicles.

Fig: Cryptorchidism

Effects of cryptorchidism:

  1. The seminiferous tubules remain infantile in structure and no development of sperm.
  2. An individual is sterile if the condition is bilateral.
  3. The secondary sexual characteristics develop normally due to interstitial cells are structurally normal.
  4. Malignant tumors may develop if the testes remain in the abdomen.
  5. Infants whose birth weight is below 5.5 lb have double or triple the risk.
  6. Testicular torsion can occur, in which the spermatic cord is twisted. The spermatic cord contains nerves, blood vessels, and tubes that carry semen to from the testicle to the penis.
  7. Low sperm counts, poor sperm quality, and decreased fertility are more likely to occur among men who’ve had an undecided testicle.