Cryptorchidism - is a pathological condition that is quite common among boys. It indicates problems in lowering one or both testicles into the scrotum. Cryptorchidism attracts the attention of many pediatricians, urologists, oncologists and geneticists. The term «cryptorchidism» itself comes from the Greek words «crypto» and «orchis», which literally translates as «hidden testicle».
In light of what comes out of medical statistics, it seems that this anomaly is the most frequent, which has a serious effect on the formation of the urogenital system of infants. Cryptorchidism is especially common in premature boys (9-30%). The disease affects 3-5% of full-term babies.
The prognosis of cryptorchidism
In about half the cases, cryptorchidism can spontaneously regress in the first or second year of a child's life. If surgery is not done on time, the baby is destined to remain a cryptorch for life.
In 60-65% of cases, the disease is one-sided (most often the right testicle remains undescended). In 30-35% of cases, both testicles are involved in the process.
Causes of cryptorchidism
To understand the true causes of cryptorchidism, you need to take a step back and remember embryogenesis. The following is a simplified summary of the physiological conditions and location of the testes at different periods of development:
- 1 - 8 weeks: differentiation of the testicles;
- 8 - 12 weeks: beginning of testicular migration to the scrotum;
- 3 - 7 month: testicles reach the deep inguinal ring;
- 9 month: testicles descend into the scrotum, thanks to the stimulus of gonadotropins and androgens.
In light of recent studies aimed at finding factors contributing to the manifestation of cryptorchidism, it was found that this defect is largely dependent on hormones. More precisely, from hormonal dysfunction in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Testicular insensitivity to gonadotropins seems to be the main cause of cryptorchidism. The mechanism that regulates hormonal response is still an object of study for many scientists.
Complications of cryptorchidism
The immediate and obvious complication of cryptorchidism is male infertility.. Indeed, for the maturation of male germ cells to be successful, certain temperature conditions are necessary. That is, the temperature should be lower than in the abdominal cavity. It follows that if the testes are preserved in the abdominal cavity, spermatozoa cannot form normally, hence the inability to fertilize.
Among the most serious complications of cryptorchidism is testicular cancer. According to statistics, the risk of cancer in men with cryptorchidism is 10 to 20% higher. Inguinal hernia а is diagnosed in 90% of cryptorchids.
When cryptorchidism is underestimated and not given due attention to a sick child, in adulthood these«childhood» omissions can become fatal, because in the case of the above pathology, time plays against the patient.