What is it?

Retractile testicle is a condition in which the testicle can move freely between the groin and the scrotum. In retractile testicles, the testis can be easily guided in a physical examination to the scrotum. It could be caused by an overactive cremaster muscle, which pulls the testicle upwards. Typically, before or during puberty this situation is resolved by its own, when the testicle stays permanently in the scrotum. If not, it is called an undescended testicle. An undescended testicle is usually unilateral, but in 10% may be bilateral, and it is more common in boys born prematurely. Other risk factors include low birth weight, family history, Down syndrome or abdominal wall defect, maternal alcohol usage or smoking during pregnancy, and parents' exposure to some pesticides.Complications may include testicular cancer, fertility problems, hernia, and testicular torsion.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of a retractile testis may include a testis that appears and disappears spontaneously either in the groin or in the scrotum. An undescended testicle could not be felt or seen.


These conditions are diagnosed on a physical examination. An undescended testicle could be further investigated by either a laparoscopic or an open surgery.


Retractile testicles do not require any treatment while undescended testicles are usually treated with surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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