What is the definition of Anorchia?

Anorchia is the absence of both testes at birth.

What are the alternative names for Anorchia?

Vanishing testes - anorchia; Empty scrotum - anorchia; Scrotum - empty (anorchia)

What are the causes for Anorchia?

The embryo develops early sex organs in the first several weeks of pregnancy. In some cases, early testes do not develop in males before 8 weeks into the pregnancy. These babies will be born with female sex organs.

In some cases, the testes disappear between 8 and 10 weeks. These babies will be born with ambiguous genitalia. This means the child will have parts of both male and female sex organs.

In some cases, the testes may disappear between 12 and 14 weeks. These babies will have normal penis and scrotum. However, they will not have any testes. This is known as congenital anorchia. It is also called the "vanishing testes syndrome."

The cause is unknown. Genetic factors may be involved in some cases.

This condition should not be confused with bilateral undescended testes, in which the testes are located in the abdomen or groin rather than the scrotum.

What are the symptoms for Anorchia?

Symptoms may include:

  • Normal outside genitals before puberty
  • Failure to start puberty at the correct time

What are the current treatments for Anorchia?

Treatment includes:

  • Artificial (prosthetic) testicle implants
    Artificial (prosthetic) testicle implants
  • Male hormones (androgens)
    Male hormones (androgens)
  • Psychological support
    Psychological support

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Anorchia?

The outlook is good with treatment.

What are the possible complications for Anorchia?

Complications include:

  • Face, neck, or back abnormalities in some cases
  • Infertility
  • Psychological issues due to gender identification

When should I contact a medical professional for Anorchia?

Call your health care provider if a male child:

  • Appears to have extremely small or absent testicles
  • Does not seem to be starting puberty during his early teens
Male
Male

REFERENCES

Ali O, Donohoue PA. Hypofunction of the testes. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 601.

Chan Y-M, Hannema SE, Achermann JC, Hughes IA. Disorders of sex development. In: Melmed S, Auchus RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 24.

Yu RN, Diamond DA. Disorders of sexual development: etiology, evaluation, and medical management. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 48.

  • Condition: Bilateral anorchia
  • Journal: Archives de pediatrie : organe officiel de la Societe francaise de pediatrie
  • Treatment Used: Testosterone replacement therapy
  • Number of Patients: 9
  • Published —
The study researched the effects of testosterone replacement therapy for bilateral anorchia.

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.