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Cryptorchidism – causes, side effects and treatments at

Thursday, February 22, 2018 by

Cryptorchidism is a condition in which one or both testicles in a male infant fail to shift from the abdomen (where the sexual organs develop) down into the scrotum before he is born. It literally means ‘hidden testis’ or ‘obscure testis’. It’s also known as undescended testicles (UDT).

It is the most prevalent genital problem encountered by pediatricians. Cryptorchidism is fairly common in infants who were born prematurely. It occurs less often in full-term babies.

Known side effects of cryptorchidism

The following risk factors are linked to cryptorchidism:

  • Premature birth. The earlier the birth, the higher the risk.
  • Infants born with low weights (below 5.5 lb) run twice or thrice the risk
  • Down syndrome and other conditions that affect fetal growth
  • Exposure to pesticides and hormone-disrupting chemicals
  • Family history of problems of genital development
  • Tobacco consumption by the pregnant mother

The following side effects may result because of cryptorchidism:

  • Testicular cancer
  • Reduced fertility due to low sperm count and poor sperm quality
  • A higher incidence of testicular cancer for fewer than 1 percent of men
  • Testicular torsion of the spermatic cord that causes injury to the latter. The spermatic cord is filled with nerves, blood vessels and tubes that transport semen from the testicles to the penis. If untreated, the individual can lose his affected testicle
  • If the testicle is stuck in the groin, it can be damaged by pressure from the pubic bone
  • Inguinal hernia can result if part of the intestines pushes into the groin
  • Surgery-related complications can result in damage to the vas deferens, the tube connecting the testicle to the urethrea

Body systems harmed by cryptorchidism

Cryptorchidism primarily affects the reproductive system. The digestive system may also be involved if an inguinal hernia is present. The testicles are the most commonly affected organs, although the spermatic cord is also at risk due to testicular torsion and the vas deferens may be at risk after surgery.

Foods and nutrients that may prevent cryptorchidism

EMaxHealth recommends consuming high protein foods for stimulation of the pituitary gland. Increasing the levels of hormones released by the pituitary gland will help raise testosterone levels. Healthy sources of protein include lean beef, organic chicken, almonds, organic eggs, quinoa, tempeh, tuna, wild salmon and Greek-style plain yogurt.

Foods rich in manganese and vitamins E and D were also highly recommended.

Manganese is a requisite for proper brain function. It helps regulate the pituitary gland. Leafy greens, nuts, legumes and whole grains are excellent sources of the mineral.

Vitamin E plays an important role in the production of hormones. It also helps protect the pituitary gland from damaging free radicals. Cold-pressed vegetable oils such as safflower, canola, corn, olive, cottonseed, and soybean contain plenty of the vitamin.

Vitamin D plays a role in the pituitary gene expression, cellular growth and the ability to secrete hormones. Fish liver oil from halibut and cod is bursting with the vitamin. It is also found in milk, butter, cheese, cream, egg, margarine, and yogurt.

Treatments, management plans for cryptorchidism

If the child is suffering from cryptorchidism, a surgical operation called orchipexy is recommended before he reaches 12 months. The surgeon gently transfers the testicle via the abdominal opening and down into the scrotum before stitching it in place. Hormone treatments to increase testosterone levels might also be an option.

Where to learn more


Cryptorchidism is a condition where the testicles of a male infant fail to descend from the abdomen to the scrotum.

Cryptorchidism is known to cause testicular cancer, male infertility, testicular torsion, testicular injury, and inguinal hernia.

Cryptorchidism harms the reproductive system, specifically the testicles and spermatic cord, and may involve the gastrointestinal system if an inguinal hernia occurs.

The foods that can help prevent or manage cryptorchidism are rich in protein (almonds, tuna, wild salmon) and the nutrients manganese (leafy greens, nuts, legumes), Vitamin D (vegetable oils, soybean) and Vitamin E (fish liver oil, milk, cheese).

Cryptorchidism can be managed through surgeries, hormone treatments, and a healthy diet.

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