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Date of last update: 10/16/2017.

Forum Name: Male Sexual Disorders

Question: Can an undescended testicle cause fertility issues?

 wannabeamommy - Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:10 pm

My boyfriend who is 23 had surgery at 11for an udescended testicle. Thet bsically put stitches in to keep the testicle in the scrotem permenently. It worked...the testicle has stayed in the scrotem since surgery. I am wondering if we will have trouble concieving because of this? Does only one testicle work properly? What are his risks for testicular cancer? Is there any way to increase sperm count naturally? Thanks so much for taking the time to answer.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:07 am

User avatar Hello,

The most common problems associated with undescended testicles are testicular neoplasm, subfertility, testicular torsion and inguinal hernia.

The incidence of testicular cancer among men with an undescended testicle is approximately one in 1,000 to one in 2,500.[1] Although significantly higher than the risk among the general population (1:100,000), this level of risk does not warrant radical therapy, such as removal of all intra-abdominal testes.

Treatment for the undescended testis is recommended as early as six months of age and should be completed before age two.

Although there is no proof that orchiopexy reduces the risk of testicular cancer, it is performed to ease detection through testicular self-examination.

Men who have had an undescended testicle have lower sperm counts, poorer quality sperm and lower fertility rates than men whose testicles descended normally.

The likelihood of subfertility increases with bilateral involvement and increasing age at the time of orchiopexy.

Impaired spermatogenesis may be partially caused by underlying genetic abnormalities that can increase the risk of germ cell neoplasia. For this reason, impairment may not be completely reversible through surgical intervention.

Unlike the risk of testicular cancer, however, there seems to be an advantage to early orchiopexy for protection of fertility. For this reason, treatment of the undescended testicle is recommended as early as six months of age and should be completed before age two.

Best regards.

1. Pinczowski D, McLaughlin JK, Lackgren G, Adami HO, Persson I. Occurrence of testicular cancer in patients operated on for cryptorchidism and inguinal hernia. J Urol 1991;146:1291-4.

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