testicle, absent

If your doctor cannot feel a tesicle on one or both sides of the scrotum of your newborn boy, the odds are four out of five that the testicle is present, but lies high up in the scrotum, inguinal canal, or even still within the abdomen - that is, it is an undescended testicle. However, about 20% of the time, the testicle formed, but early on in development the blood flow to the organ was interrupted, causing it to wither and disappear. We know this because at surgical exploration, these vessels can be traced along the path leading to where the testicle should be, but end abruptly. Because this is probably a case of testicular torsion in utero, some urologists advise operating on the remaining testicle to stablilize it and reduce the risk of torsion and possible total sterility. True absence of a testicle - in which the testicle and its associated structures such as the vas deferens, blood vessels and nerves are never formed at all - is quite rare.

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