What is a retractile testicle?

A retractile testicle occurs when one or both of a boy's testicles move back and forth from the scrotum to the groin. When the testicles are in the groin, they can be easily be guided back into the scrotum and will not move back up into the groin right away.

Retractile testicles are sometimes mistaken for undescended testicles but are not the same. An undescended testicle cannot stay in the scrotum at all, while a retractile testicle can be felt in the scrotum while the child is relaxed. In boys with retractile testicles, cold temperatures or fear can cause the testicles to move into the groin area.

What are the signs and symptoms of retractile testicles?

The main symptom of retractile testicles is that the testicles move back and forth from the scrotum into the groin.

What causes retractile testicles?

The testicles are each attached to a muscle called the cremaster muscle, which can pull the testicles out of the scrotum and closer to the body. This is called the cremasteric reflex. Retractile testicle occur when the testicles do not move back down into the scrotum after this reflex. This is a normal finding in boys.

How are retractile testicles treated?

The urology team at Arkansas Children's is experienced at diagnosing and treating retractile testicles. In most cases, retractile testicles do not need any treatment. Your child's doctor will continue to watch your child's condition. If the retractile testicle turns into an undescended testicle, then your son may need surgery to correct it.