What is Anorchia?
Anorchia is a rare condition in which a man is born without testes but with a normal penis and scrotum. Known as congenital anorchia, this has also been referred to as “vanishing testes syndrome.” It is sometimes confused with bilateral undescended testes, a condition in which the testes fail to move into the scrotum before birth and remain in the abdomen or groin.
Acquired anorchia occurs when the testicles are surgically removed due to cancer, trauma or infection. Testicular torsion, in which the spermatic cord that provides blood flow to the testicle twists and cuts off blood supply, is another problem that may require orchiectomy (the surgical removal of one or both testicles).
Dr. Paul Turek’s research has shown that congenital or acquired anorchia can have profound effects on the self-esteem and sex lives of men who are affected by it. Often, the personal decision to have a testicular implant placed to achieve the look, feel and weight of a normal-looking scrotum can vastly improve the quality of life in these cases. Dr. Turek led the charge in the United States to provide FDA-approved testis implants for testicular loss, by both designing the implant and overseeing and publishing the multicenter clinical trial that showed its effectiveness.
Detecting and Diagnosing Anorchia
In addition to a visibly empty scrotum, other signs of anorchia include lack of male sex characteristics at puberty. For example, penis and pubic hair growth may be hindered, the voice may not deepen and muscle mass may not increase during puberty.
Several tests may be performed to confirm anorchia. Testosterone levels, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) blood tests along with bone density may be measured to assist in the diagnosis.
How Is Anorchia Treated?
Males with congenital anorchia may fail to start puberty at the correct time. Testosterone supplementation can be used to initiate puberty and normal sexual development.
The placement of testicular implants can recreate the look and feel of natural testicles for improved body image, confidence and quality of life. Although the prostheses do not function like natural testicles, meaning they don’t produce sperm or testosterone, they can help men achieve a “normal” look and feel and reduce the stress of having an empty scrotum.
Dr. Turek championed the development of the first and only FDA-approved testicular implant. After studying the devices in hundreds of men and male children, he showed they were safe and effective. Thanks to Dr. Turek’s expertise, thousands of men have regained a natural appearance and improved self-confidence with testicle implants.
If you or your child is facing anorchia, psychological support is also very important. Being diagnosed with anorchia can be overwhelming and upsetting, and it may bring up questions relating to gender. Compassionate medical professionals and peer support can be crucial in helping you or your child handle the diagnosis.
Contact The Turek Clinic
If you or your son was born without testicles or is missing a testicle for other reasons and you would like to discuss your implant options with the Father of the Testis Prosthesis, please request an appointment at The Turek Clinic. Dr. Turek will answer all of your questions and help you make the best decision for your needs or your child’s needs.