Signs and Symptoms of Undescended Testicle

An undescended testicle is not located within the scrotum. The condition may be associated with other abnormalities of the genitourinary system (e.g., hypospadias).

Undescended Testicle Diagnosis

Diagnosis of this condition is made through physical examination at birth to locate the testis. It is sometimes diagnosed by prenatal ultrasound. If one testicle is undescended, the scrotum appears unbalanced. If the undescended testis is able to be felt (palpable) it may not have descended fully, may have descended into a location other than the scrotum (ectopic), or may move in and out of the scrotum through muscle contraction (retractile).

If the testis is not palpable, it may be located within the abdomen or may be absent (occurs in 5% of cases). A congenitally absent testicle may result from an abnormality in testicular blood vessels or testicular torsion in utero. This condition is diagnosed using a blood test to determine the level of gonadotropin, which is a hormone that stimulates development of the testes.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 10 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 06 Jun 2011