Testicles are the two small, ball-shaped organs inside the scrotum (the sac of skin below the penis) that make male hormones and sperm. An undescended testicle happens when one or both of a child's testicles do not drop down into the scrotum before birth. This condition is called cryptorchidism.
Undescended testicles may be in the belly or groin area. It is also possible for a baby to be born without one or both testicles. Undescended testicles could be healthy and work normally. Sometimes, however, undescended testicles do not develop correctly and do not work like they should.
In many cases the undescended testicles will drop down into the correct position before the baby is 6 months old. If a child's testicles do not drop by then, it is important to consult a doctor about treatment options, one of which could be surgery.
Doctors do not know what causes undescended testicles. But, they are not caused by anything the mother did during pregnancy.
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