Why Do Some Men Have Just One Testicle?


Quick Answer

Some men have only one testicle because the testicle did not descended into the scrotum by the time of their birth and remained in the abdominal cavity, according to SteadyHealth. In most boys, the undescended testicle usually descends by the time he is a year old. If the testicle does not descend by then, the child most likely grows up with just the one testicle unless he is treated.

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Full Answer

One treatment for an undescended testicle is a surgery called orchiopexy, says SteadyHealth. It is important to perform this surgery before the child is a year old because fertility can be affected. Sometimes doctors give the child hormone therapy, though the effectiveness of this treatment is uncertain.

Another reason for a man having only one testicle is that the testicle was damaged while he was in the womb, says SteadyHealth. The damage is caused by a mechanical injury or a hormonal problem. Because of this, the baby's own immune system destroys the damaged tissue by activating white blood cells called macrophages. When the child is born, the testicle cannot even be detected in the abdominal cavity.

Surgical removal of one testicle is another reason why some men have only one testicle, according to SteadyHealth. This is called orchiectomy, and it is performed because of tumors in the testicle, injury, prostate cancer and an untreated torsion, or twisting of the testicle.

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