Testicular anomalies: general overview of the problem

As you already know, testes are one of the most unprotected organs of the male body, their only protection is the scrotum. This makes them very easy to injure, get infected or inflamed. Not speaking about testicular cancer that also can develop. Testicular anomalies or disorders are those high need for treatment. In case you’ve noticed some pain, discomfort, redness or other changes, don’t hesitate to turn for examination to your attending doctor.

In case you are afraid, there is also a possibility to perform a self-examination, please find here instructions on how to do it. They are provided by the Testicular Cancer Research Center and may ”encourage” you for further treatment.

Today let’s speak about anomalies. There are some that occur rarely, like hypoplasia, ectopia, hemangioma, etc. But we are going to review the most common ones, and they are:

  • Testicular torsion;
  • Cryptorchidism.

Testicular torsion

This anomaly is an emergency one. It occurs due to testis rotation and its blood supply consequent strangulation. In other words, because of anomalous development of spermatic cord and tunica vaginalis, there happens an incomplete fixation of the testis. This can happen spontaneously or after trauma. Around 12% of men are affected by this, most common in ages between 12 and 18. Those older than 30 are very rare cases.

Scrotal swelling and pain followed by nausea and vomiting are the symptoms to put you on alert. If you’ve noticed something like this, immediately proceed to your attending doctor to verify it. To diagnose testicular torsion, a physical examination is required together with Doppler ultrasonography.

After confirming the diagnosis, the right treatment is manual detorsion. Surgical intervention may follow.


This anomaly takes place when one or both testes fail to descend into the scrotum. About 3% of term and 30% of preterm infants are affected by this. To verify it physical examination or even laparoscopy is needed. Cryptorchidism may lead to problems with spermatic cord and other testis and scrotum anomalies and disorders.

Treating it is only possible by surgical repair.

In the case of palpable undescended testis, surgical orchiopexy is done together with repairing an inguinal hernia.

If it is nonpalpable, then abdominal laparoscopy should be performed.

The recommendation for surgery to be done at the age of 6 months to reduce cancer risk and improve the potential of fertility.