June 22, 2024
Global Undescended Testicle

Undescended Testicle Industry: Global Surge in Cases of Undescended Testicles A Growing Health Concern

Undescended Testicle Industry and Prevalence

Undescended testicle, also known as cryptorchidism, is a condition where one or both testes fail to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. Globally, the incidence and prevalence of undescended testicle has been increasing over the past few decades. According to the most recent statistics from the World Health Organization, approximately 1-4% of full term male infants are born with at least one undescended testicle. The condition is more common in preterm infants, with an incidence of up to 30% in extremely preterm babies born before 28 weeks gestation.

The highest reported incidences of Undescended Testicle are seen in Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Finland and Sweden, where approximately 3-4% of male newborns have the condition. Other parts of Northern Europe also see relatively high rates. In contrast, the lowest incidences are found in areas such as Central and South America, parts of Asia and Africa, where only around 1% of baby boys are affected. However, overall global prevalence appears to be rising gradually over time. A comparison of data from the 1990s versus recent years shows average incidence has increased from an estimated 2-3% to the current 1-4% range.

Risk Factors and Etiology

Several risk factors are associated with increased likelihood of developing undescended testicle. Premature birth is a major risk, with lower gestational age correlated with higher incidence. Other neonatal risk factors include low birth weight and congenital abnormalities. Family history also seems to play a role, as the condition shows a tendency to cluster in families. Maternal smoking during pregnancy is linked to elevated risk, possibly due to effects on hormone levels essential for testicular descent.

The exact causes of undescended testicle remain unclear, but both genetic and hormonal influences are believed to be involved. Incomplete levels of insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3) and testosterone during gestation can prevent the testes from properly descending. Abnormalities in INSL3 or testosterone signaling pathways have been identified as potential etiological factors. Certain genes like INSL3, its receptor LGR8 and RXR-alpha also appear to play a role based on studies finding mutations associated with undescended testicle. Both genetic and environmental interactions are likely at work given the available evidence.

Health Effects of Untreated Undescended Testicle

Leaving undescended testicle untreated can lead to significant health problems later in life. The longer the testes remain undescended, the greater the risk of associated complications. One major issue is impaired fertility, as the abnormal position of the testes hinders proper sperm production. Studies show that up to 30% of men with bilateral undescended testicle are infertile, compared to around 3% of the general population. Even with unilateral cryptorchidism, semen quality and fertility may be compromised to a lesser degree.

Undescended testicle also increases susceptibility to testicular cancer. Boys with the condition face a 3 to 7 times higher lifetime risk of developing tumors like seminoma or non-seminoma germ cell cancer compared to those without cryptorchidism. This risk is proportional to how late in life the testis descended or was treated. Orchiopexy surgery before age 1 helps mitigate cancer risk to almost baseline levels, highlighting the importance of prompt diagnosis and treatment. Chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances and other factors may mediate the relationship between undescended testicle and malignancy.

Early Detection and Treatment Guidelines

Due to the severe long-term complications of untreated cryptorchidism, global medical organizations advocate active screening of infants for the condition. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all newborn males have a physical examination assessing testicular descent before discharge from the hospital. Undescended testes should then be re-evaluated during follow-up well-child visits at ages 6 months, 9 months, 12 months and 24 months to identify any late descending testes.

For cases of persistent undescended testicle, guidelines support surgery known as orchiopexy between 6 to 12 months of age. This procedure involves guiding the testis down into the scrotum through an incision in the groin. Orchiopexy carried out in early infancy leads to fertility and cancer risk profiles similar to the general population. Delaying surgery beyond age 1 is discouraged due to poorer outcomes including higher atrophy and persistent cryptorchidism rates. Post-surgical follow-up also assesses for any remaining complications.

Undescended Testicle Industry Global Public Health Challenge

With its rising global incidence and potential serious health consequences, undescended testicle poses a significant public health challenge worldwide. Ensuring proper screening and timely treatment requires coordinated efforts across multiple levels. Public awareness needs improving so parents, caregivers and community health workers understand the condition’s importance.

In Summary, healthcare systems must facilitate access to expertise in pediatric urology as well as financing for orchiopexy. In lower resource settings, task-shifting models may assist with early detection and referral. International cooperation through organizations like the WHO helps address cryptorchidism as a global priority. With concerted action, the burden of undescended testicle can be reduced through early intervention and prevention of later complications.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it