Undescended Testicle (Cryptorchidism)

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Information on conditions unique to girls and young women can be found at

The pediatric urologists with Norton Children’s Urology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, are the leading providers of pediatric urology care in Louisville and Southern Indiana. They have the expertise to treat undescended testicle (cryptorchidism) and to know when the condition will resolve itself without treatment.

We have state-of-the-art equipment that is not available elsewhere in Louisville and Southern Indiana. We also are able to provide sedation.

Our specialists bring skill, respect and sensitivity to caring for your child’s urological needs.

As a baby boy grows in his mother’s womb, testicles form inside his abdomen. In most cases, the testicles move down into the scrotum shortly before birth. Sometimes that move doesn’t happen or is delayed, and the baby is born with one or both testicles undescended.

An undescended testicle usually is detected when your baby is examined shortly after birth.

In the vast majority of cases, the undescended testicle moves into the proper position on its own within the first few months of life.

Undescended Testicle Repair Surgery (Orchiopexy)

Our team may recommend surgery if your son’s testicle does not descend on its own in 12 months. Moving the undescended testicle down to the scrotum surgically helps prevent complications.

In most cases, we can repair an undescended testicle with a single, simple operation (orchiopexy). Early surgical treatment appears to lower the risk of later complications, such as infertility or cancer.


While there is no known cause of undescended testicle, the following factors might increase the likelihood of an undescended testicle in a newborn:

  • Premature birth
  • Family history of undescended testicles
  • Low birth weight
  • Hormonal problems

Signs and Symptoms

Not seeing or feeling a testicle in the scrotum is the primary sign of an undescended testicle.

Usually just one testicle is affected, but about 10% of the time both testicles are undescended. If both testicles are undescended, the scrotum may look small and flat. If only one testicle is affected, the scrotum may look lopsided.

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