It's estimated about 1 in every 25 boys are born with undescended testicles. In most cases no treatment is necessary, as the testicles will usually move down into the scrotum naturally during the first 3 to 6 months of life. But around 1 in 100 boys has testicles that stay undescended unless treated.
Most of the time, a boy's testicles descend by the time he is 9 months old. Undescended testicles are common in infants who are born early. The problem occurs less in full-term infants. Some babies have a condition called retractile testes and the health care provider may not be able to find the testicles.
The main sign: You can't see or feel the testicle in the scrotum. When both are undescended, the scrotum looks flat and smaller than you'd expect it to be. Some boys have what's called a retractile testicle. It may move up into their groin when they are cold or scared but moves back down on its own.
Sometimes a child's testicle will drop, but then retract or pull back into the scrotum. This is not considered an undescended testicle. This happens because of the strength of the muscles (cremasteric reflex) that retract the testicles before puberty. This is considered fairly normal and does not require surgery.
At the start of puberty, the testicles increase in size, drop lower, and the scrotum darkens, becomes looser, and becomes dotted with small bumps. Later in puberty, the penis begins to grow and mature. Pubic hair begins to grow shortly after changes in the scrotum.
Balls drop after birth
They drop into the scrotum (ball bag) soon after birth. Sometimes one or both balls don't drop into the ball bag straight away but they do eventually (sometimes with surgical help). After that they slowly get bigger and heavier during puberty.
When Does Puberty Start? Most females will start puberty when they're 8 to 13 years old, and most males will start between 9 and 14. But it can also be normal to start earlier or later. Hormones from the brain trigger the start of puberty.
If the testicles don't descend into the scrotum on their own within six months, your baby may need surgery or other treatment. Providers generally recommend surgery to fix undescended testicles before your baby's first birthday. Without treatment, undescended testicles can lead to infertility later in life.
Some young people get pains and aches in their legs and muscles as they grow taller. Sometimes this can cause pain and discomfort during or after exercise. Usually growing pains will go away on their own but if they don't, it's important to get checked out by a health professional.
They descend from the abdomen at or near birth, and one thing a pediatrician checks for in boys is if their testicles have descended properly. At puberty the testicles begin to grow rapidly and get much larger, so they naturally hang lower as they get bigger. But they don't “drop” at puberty.
If a testicle has not descended on its own by the time a baby is 6 months old, he should be checked by a pediatric specialist and have treatment if the condition is confirmed. This usually involves surgically repositioning the testicle into the scrotum.
The majority of the time, sagging testicles are a normal part of the aging process. The testicles naturally sag, even at a young age, to protect the sperm inside and keep them viable. Anyone worried about saggy balls or other associated symptoms should contact a doctor for a diagnosis.
The most obvious of these changes include a growth spurt; the voice becoming deeper; shoulders becoming broader; hair growth on the face, around the genitals and underarms; and the genitals growing larger. Some boys may experience acne, and their sweat may develop a strong odor.
That was the experience of Patrick Burleigh, who has a rare genetic mutation that triggers testosterone production far younger than normal.
Testicle size does not generally indicate a cause for concern. Most males have one testicle that is smaller than the other, a testicle that hangs lower than the other, or both. Certain issues and health conditions, such as testicular cancer, can cause changes in the size and shape of the testicles.
Boys tend to show the first physical changes of puberty between the ages of 10 and 16. They tend to grow most quickly between ages 12 and 15. The growth spurt of boys is, on average, about 2 years later than that of girls. By age 16, most boys have stopped growing, but their muscles will continue to develop.
Puberty in boys can start as early as 9 but really hits between 11 and 14 and lasts for 3 to 4 years. Boys can continue to grow until they are 18 or even 20. The first thing your boy will notice is that his private area will be changing.
As puberty approaches — usually between the ages of 10 and 14 — the pituitary gland (a pea-sized gland near the base of the brain) secretes two hormones (luteinizing hormone, or LH; and follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH) that work together to stimulate the testes to make testosterone.
See your GP if at any point you notice that 1 or both of your child's testicles are not in the normal place within the scrotum. Undescended testicles aren't painful and your child isn't at risk of any immediate health problems, but they should be monitored by a doctor in case treatment is needed later on.
An overactive muscle causes a testicle to become a retractile testicle. The cremaster muscle is a thin pouch-like muscle in which a testicle rests. When the cremaster muscle contracts, it pulls the testicle up toward the body.
Calcifications: These are small structures in the testicle or along the main sperm pipeline (vas) can become hard, almost rock like. These are always painless and rarely need to be removed.
Common causes of testicle pain include: Injury. Infection or swelling of the sperm ducts (epididymitis) or testicles (orchitis). Twisting of the testicles that can cut off the blood supply (testicular torsion).