What are the consequences if testicles fail to descend from the abdominal cavity during embryo development?

1 Answer | Add Yours

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Undescended testicles is a condition called cryptorchidism and is painless. It exists when a fetus is born without the process of of descent from the abdomen to the scrotum sachaving occurred. Testicles are formed in utero in the abdomen alongside the kidneys, however, prior to birth a process occurs in which the testicles drop to the scrotum.

When this process fails to occur, the testicles generally drop of their own accord within the first three to four months of life. When they do not descend voluntarily, there are corrective procedures that are performed. So one consequence of cryptorchidism is corrective surgery and the risks any surgery entails.

Other consequences may be a lowered fertility rate or infertility. This may result because the scrotum keeps the testicles 6 degrees cooler than inside the abdomen where the added warmth may result in underdeveloped testicles and impaired production of fertile sperm. Additionally, undescended testicles may have a higher tendency to testicular cancer even after corrective surgery.

We’ve answered 318,928 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question