What is a Retractile Testicle?
Unlike an undescended testicle, a retractile testicle has descended fully at birth but rises out of the scrotum when the cremaster muscle contracts. The cremaster muscle covers the testis and moves the testis up or down within the scrotum. What distinguishes a retractile testis from a truly undescended testis is that the retractile testis can be manually brought down within the scrotum during a physical exam.
Treating Retractile Testicles
Retractile testicles function normally and typically do not require treatment, as it will resolve on its own as the child matures into puberty. As the boy reaches puberty, the cremaster reflex weakens, the testicles become heavier with growth, and testicles are more easily found in the scrotum on routine examination. Retractile testicles do not carry any additional risk of infertility or of developing testicular cancer above the regular population.
Your child’s pediatrician will perform regular testicular exams at birth and at each well child exam to ensure that the testicle is in its proper place in the scrotum. If the physician discovers that a retractile testes exists, the doctor will be able to draw it back down into the scrotum. Concerning exams may be referred to a pediatric urologist for further evaluation. Your child’s pediatrician or a pediatric urology specialist can help answer any questions you may have about this common condition, and allay any concerns.
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