07841 048975

Undescended Testes

Undescended testes, also known as cryptorchidism, is a common condition where one or both of a boy’s testicles are not in the scrotum. During pregnancy, the testicles form inside a baby boy’s abdomen and gradually move down into the scrotum before birth. Around 1 in 20 male babies is born with an undescended testicle. In most cases, treatment is unnecessary as the testicle will often move down into the scrotum naturally during the first six months of life. In about 1 in 70 cases, however, the testicle remains undescended.

Most boys with undescended testes are otherwise completely healthy. It’s unknown why some boys are born with undescended testicles. It is more common in premature births, low birth weight and those with a family history of undescended testicles.

Undescended testicles are usually diagnosed after a physical examination. It needs to be differentiated from retractile testes, where the testes have descended into the scrotum normally but retract into the groin when cold, such as during an examination. If the testicles are not easily felt, scans may be required to identify their position. Part of the initial surgical treatment may occasionally involve keyhole surgery to see if the testicles are inside the abdomen.

If the testicles haven’t descended within a year of birth, they’re unlikely to do so. Treatment is usually recommended as testicles do not seem to develop if left in the abdomen. Boys with undescended testicles can have fertility problems in later life and an increased risk of developing testicular cancer if untreated. Treatment involves an operation called an orchidopexy to move the testicles into the correct position inside the scrotum.

Home 9 Conditions Treated 9 Paediatric Urology 9 Undescended Testes

Referrals and Appointments

For referrals, appointments and general information please contact us.

Other paediatric urology conditions we treat


Circumcision is the excision of the foreskin, the retractable fold of skin that covers the head of the penis. It is a treatment option for a tight...

read more


A hernia occurs when a portion intestine pushes through an opening or weak spot in the abdomen and groin. An inguinal hernia or femoral hernia might...

read more


A Hydrocoele occurs when there is a build-up of fluid in the sac that surrounds the testicle. A small amount of fluid in this sac is normal, but the...

read more