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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Balls dropping into the sack is meant to happen by the age of 3.

(35 Posts)
starshaker Fri 04-Oct-13 08:18:25

I just thought i would post this since i didn't know until the health visitor told me.

I took DS to the doctors and he said bring him back when hes 3. I took him back and they were still not descended (although the doc could feel and move them). He was referred to the pediatric surgeon and his appointment is today so we will find out if he needs surgery.

I just though, since I didn't know and people i tell don't know that i should let you guys know. When i tell people they say "oh i thought that happened in puberty" and thats not the case. The doctor has said that if its left it can cause infertility.

starshaker Fri 04-Oct-13 09:23:53

Maybe its well known lol

BigBrassBand Fri 04-Oct-13 09:27:08

How do you tell?

starshaker Fri 04-Oct-13 09:37:16

Im not sure how balls feel in small boys but his sack is empty. When i wiped it was just soft and empty. I think you should be able to feel them

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Oct-13 09:41:13

Testicles should be descended by birth.

It certainly shouldn't be left until a child is 3 years old!

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Oct-13 09:43:53

If the doc could feel and move them, then they were descended?

starshaker Fri 04-Oct-13 09:51:28

no he can feel them higher up. Not in the scrotum. Im sure the doctor isnt going to refer my son for possible surgery if everything is fine

MrsCharlesBrandon Fri 04-Oct-13 09:55:40

Ds was seen for this very problem about 18 months ago. He's just turned 4. I was told that they frequently yo-yo until approx 7 years old, when they should stay down permanently.

A friend's ds is 9 and has just been seen for one which is still migrating. He'll probably need surgery to put a stitch in to hold it down.

I have 2 older DDs, this was all new to me!

ShowOfBloodyStumps Fri 04-Oct-13 10:01:27

I started a thread about this when ds was a baby as I'd heard something vague about it and wondered if I should check. I was reassured that they should have been descended at birth and that I'd have been told if they weren't. Sure enough, it's there in his newborn checks and in his 6 week checks. I was told that if they weren't descended in the first 4 months, it would be kept a close eye on with treatment expected within 2 years if needed but often as soon as 6 months to protect fertility. NHS pages here seem to back this up.

Polkadolly Fri 04-Oct-13 10:05:39

It should be by 1 years old if not they should operate. My dh has been left infertile from not being operated on sooner. Sorry to worry you but please get a second opinion ASAP.

AuntieStella Fri 04-Oct-13 10:05:59

NHS page on undescended testicles.

It's fairly common and usually resolves spontaneously in the first 6 months. If it doesn't then it needs monitoring and possibly treatment, and that NHs page recommends treatment by age 2 as future fertility won't be affected if dealt with by then.

MrsCharlesBrandon Fri 04-Oct-13 10:08:29

If they were there at birth then they're not technically undescended are they?

DS still has days when they're not in the sac, but more frequently now they are down. I was just told to keep and eye and go back if i was worried! confused

MarjorieAntrobus Fri 04-Oct-13 10:22:46

Good post, OP. DS was at the end of Y4 (ie aged 8-9) when he had surgery for this. We had only realised it was an issue in the preceding few months when he was seen by a consultant for an enuresis issue and I mentioned an empty sac on one side. My experience is that there was no routine checking for undescended testicles during the early years checkups.

ShowOfBloodyStumps Fri 04-Oct-13 10:24:15

MrsCharlesBrandon, the op doesn't say they were there at birth does she?

ShowOfBloodyStumps Fri 04-Oct-13 10:26:52

Marjorie, it's in ds's red book that his testicles were checked at birth (or the next day I think) and again at 6 weeks. Presumably, they don't check again unless there is a problem noted. Certainly at things like the 1yr and 2yr check it hasn't been looked at.

MarjorieAntrobus Fri 04-Oct-13 10:34:38

I'm sure you're right, Show, but I think if it's your first or only boy you might not realise that the lack of an "OK, all is as it should be" means that you should keep asking for more checkups.

Llareggub Fri 04-Oct-13 10:40:39

My DS saw a consultant last year for this issue . He was 3 .5 ish at the time. This is what I learned:

1) his sack was wrinkly which was evidence that they are there occasionally - just not permanently.
2) it's common and should resolve itself
3) my other son (aged 5) told me that he was an expert in finding balls and he and his brother often look for them
4) I should go back if the situation didn't resolve itself - both balls were detected by the consultant

We've moved now and it does cross my mind that maybe it is time for a second opinion.

notso Fri 04-Oct-13 10:50:52

DS2's missing testicle was picked up at his post birth paediatric check. He has it reviewed at 6 weeks then at 8 months, an ultrasound at 12 months and 22 months then an operation to stitch it down at 2.2 years.

ShowOfBloodyStumps Fri 04-Oct-13 10:55:07

Oh no Marjorie, I agree. Like I said, I started a thread myself because it's all just a bit vague. I think being a woman you have bog all awareness of the common garden testicle and its daily behaviours. I only realised in retrospect that it was a problem that could happen and perhaps I should have been aware of it. And only then because dh has Problematical Testicles and mentioned something about them descending in passing one day. I mean we're all aware of checking fontanelles and similar but testicles just aren't chatted about. I think it should be mentioned a little more. I mean up until having ds I just thought of testicles as weird little Kinder Egg inners suspended in a half skinned rabbit and tried not to look directly at them wherever possible (thankfully just dh's, though I am aware it sounds like I'm often confronted with random scrotums). It's only since having ds that I'm aware of the problems they can present.

starshaker Fri 04-Oct-13 10:59:09

I didnt have a partner to even talk about it with. Thats why i started this thread. Im sure there are plenty mother of boys who dont know a huge amount about boy bits.

I will post what the consultant tells me today after the appointment

Quangle Fri 04-Oct-13 11:03:58

very useful to me (single mum). Thank you for posting. Any other info gratefully received!

MarjorieAntrobus Fri 04-Oct-13 11:07:53

Blimey, Show, I absolutely agree with you. And Star too. I had no idea that DS had an issue. If he hadn't been having a checkup for bedwetting issues aged 8, then the undescended testicle conversation would never had happened until what? (Maybe a GF would have wondered about it?)

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Oct-13 11:15:03

Good luck at your appt OP.

It is checked at birth though, if you look in the red book you will see it on the check list.

DS1 was only 11 months when he had the op on his undescended testicle, but I think it was because the other was down and had been for a while that they didn't bother waiting. It was pretty high up in his body iirc (14 years ago!) It turned out that my FIL had had the same issue as a child but hadn't had it operated on until he was in his 20's (when he came to the UK actually) Men who have had this problem also have a marginally higher chance of getting testicular cancer - less than if they didn't have the operation, but slightly more than normal, so as soon as they hit their teens and puberty they should check themselves for odd bumps and lumps.

The operation was fine though. I think I got more upset about it than DS1 did. Tiny keyhole incisions and very little post-op issues, mainly grumpiness from the GA smile

MarjorieAntrobus Fri 04-Oct-13 12:27:30

It is checked at birth though, if you look in the red book you will see it on the check list.

Yes, but if it isn't descended at that point, it doesn't get re-examined unless the parent raises the issue again.

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