What is the prevalence of cryptorchidism?

Updated: Dec 17, 2020
  • Author: Joel M Sumfest, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Overall, 3% of full-term male newborns have cryptorchidism, decreasing to 1% in male infants aged 6 months to 1 year. The prevalence of cryptorchidism is 30% in premature male neonates. Factors that predispose to cryptorchidism include prematurity, low birth weight, small size for gestational age, twinning, and maternal exposure to estrogen during the first trimester. Seven percent of siblings of boys with undescended testes have cryptorchidism. An undescended testis may descend spontaneously during the first few months of life but is unlikely to do so after 6 months (corrected for gestational age). Cryptorchidism may also be acquired, with an initially descended testis ascending out of the scrotum. [1]

In the United States, the prevalence of cryptorchidism ranges from 3.7% at birth to 1.1% from age 1 year to adulthood. Internationally, prevalence ranges from 4.3-4.9% at birth to 1-1.5% at age 3 months to 0.8-2.5% at age 9 months. Cryptorchidism is identified in 1.5-4% of fathers and 6.2% of brothers of patients with cryptorchidism. Heritability in first-degree male relatives is estimated to be 0.67.


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