Approximately 3% of full term infants and 30% of preterm infants are affected by cryptorchidism.
Cryptorchidism occurs when the male's testicles do not descend into the scrotum. A fetus' testicles will generally descend into the scrotum around 28 weeks of gestation.
Although most babies that suffer this condition have an empty scrotum at delivery, some babies will be born with a testicle that can be felt but has not properly descended. Approximately 66% of the cases will resolve by the time the baby is 4 months old.
Surgery is recommended to treat undescended testicles and reduce the chances of fertility trouble and cancers. Medications can be given to stimulate testosterone production in hopes that the testicles will respond and descend.
A baby that is born with cryptorchidism has an increased chance of developing testicular cancer and fertility problems later in life.