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Retractile Testicle

What is retractile testicle?

Retractile testicle is a subtype of undescended testicle but is not a true undescended testicle. While true undescended testicle is a condition that must be treated, it is sufficient for retractile testicle to be followed by urologists.

Retractile Testicle

What does shy testicle mean?

Retractile testicle is a condition known among the public as shy testicle, in which the testicle sometimes escapes into the groin, but can also go down and remain in the testicle sac, which we call the scrotum.

Retractile testicle mother’s club

Since the pathology, popularly known as retractile testicle, is common in children, it is frequently researched on search engines and platforms, especially by mothers.

Is it normal for balls to go back inside?

There are also fiber structures called cremasters in the cord structure of the testicle, which contains the vascular and sperm structures. These fibers contract during moments that cause contraction in the smooth muscles, such as cold, excitement, or fear, and pull the testicle upwards. This can happen in physiologically normal testes and in shy testes.

Why testicles go inside?

Being permanently inside is a pathology and is caused by the fibers being overly tense, the cord structure being short, and the gubernaculum settling into the scrotal sac without descending. Gubernaculum is the structure that guides the testicle to descend into the scrotal sac during embryological development.

How to understand retractile testicles?

First of all, every parent and the pediatrician who follows the child should be aware of undescended testicles. When there is a suspicion that the inside of the scrotum (ovarian sac) is empty, it is necessary to consult a urologist for examination. Examination by experienced hands to distinguish the shy testicle from the true undescended testicle is essential and sufficient for diagnosis. In the shy testicle, unlike the undescended testicle, the testicle descends into the scrotum (sac) easily and remains there for a while. In addition, shy testicle is a benign condition and does not cause infertility or cancer.

Symptoms of retractile (escaping) testicles

The most important symptom of escaping testicle is the family's inability to touch the testicle in the scrotum. Sometimes, because the sac is empty, it may seem small compared to its symmetry.

What causes retractile testicles?

It is thought that the cremaster reflex, which causes the testicle to move upward due to factors such as fear, excitement and cold weather, which is also seen in normal children and adults, is more active in these children and occurs due to these hyperactive muscles.

Is a retractile testicle a problem?

If retractile testicle is well monitored and intervened in time, it does not pose a serious risk for testicular cancer and infertility like other undescended testicle subtypes.

What age are retractile testes normal?

Most of the retractile testicle recovers in the first years of life. This rate is around 98% in adolescence. However, ascending testicle, which does not improve and is located above, requires surgical treatment (orchidopexy).

Is surgery necessary for retractile testicle?

Most of the shy testicles spontaneously descend and settle into the scrotum (sac) as children grow, and this period may last until adolescence. It usually resolves on its own without the need for surgery. However, a small part of it, called 'assending', settles in the groin instead of the scrotum and requires surgery.

Does retractile testicle make you infertile?

There is not enough scientific data to show that shy testicle impairs spermatogenesis (sperm production) like other types of undescended testicles. However, it is thought that shy testicles that are not monitored well and not intervened in time may also cause infertility.

Which doctor to see for retractile testicles?

If you think your child has shy or undescended testicles, you should definitely consult a urologist. Undescended or shy testicle is a pathology that should not be neglected, although its treatment is simple and its consequences can be serious.

How do you fix a retractile testicle?

If intervention is needed during follow-up of retractile (shy) testicles, it must be treated with surgical intervention, just like other types of undescended testicles. Drug treatments used for a while are no longer recommended because their success rate is very low.

Treatment of retractile testicles with medication

Drug therapy has no place in the treatment of both undescended testicles and retractile, escaping testicles. If necessary, fixation is made by surgery.

Retractile testicles in adults

The probability of developing shy (retractile) testicles in adults is very low. This is more likely to be a true undescended testicle, and since this tissue may become cancerous in adulthood, surgical intervention is necessary and follow-up is not performed.

Update Date: 26.12.2023
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arif Demirbaş
Doç. Dr. Arif Demirbaş
Üroloji Uzmanı
The content of this page is for informational purposes only.
Please consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arif Demirbas
Urology Specialist
Dr. Arif Demirbaş was born in 1985 in Turkey. He graduated from Uludag University Faculty of Medicine in 2010. He completed his urology residency training at Ankara Training and Research Hospital between 2011-2016. As a result of intensive academic studies after his specialization, he received the title of Associate Professor in March 2021.

Although he has experience with each of urological diseases, he has a special interest in the diagnosis, medical treatment and surgical treatment of urological cancers (prostate cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer and testicular cancer),kidney stone diseases, benign prostate enlargement, adrenal gland diseases (surrenal gland) and pediatric urology diseases (ureteropelvic stenosis, vesicoureteral reflux, undescended testicles). If possible, the surgeries are planned laparoscopically and endoscopically in a way that creates the least discomfort for the patient as required by the era.
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