Medical Q&As

Testicle - undescended?

I was around 15 years old when I discovered that my right testicle wasnít in my scrotum. I got kind of worried about it. I was afraid to tell my mother or father about it because I felt embarrassed. I was able eventually to push the testicle down through the canal into my scrotum. It kept coming back up but then eventually it just stayed there after a while. Iím 20 years old now and the testicle is in my scrotum .I never went to a doctor to check this out but now Iím kind of worried because of reading this site. What could be going on down there?

Your question contains a very good description of a condition we refer to as a retractile testicle. This is a relatively common condition. Retractile testicle means that the testicle can be retracted or drawn up from the scrotum into the inguinal canal. When this happens the scrotum appears to be empty on the affected side. The testicle is drawn up because of contraction of the cremaster muscle, which is attached to the testicle. Retractile testicles are often confused with undescended testicles but the key difference between the two is that a retractile testicle can be fully drawn down into the scrotum whereas an undescended testicle cannot. As boys proceed through adolescence the cremaster muscle weakens and is no longer capable of drawing the testicle back up from the scrotum. Retractile testicles do not require treatment nor do they carry any of the implications that we associate with undescended testicles. This condition does not have any implications for your future fertility. However, I would suggest that you visit your GP in order to have the diagnosis verified.