It is every parent’s worst fear that their child will be born with a birth defect involving a sensitive part of the body. One such urinary tract birth defect – impacting nearly a third of all boys born prematurely – is undescended testes or testis, also referred to as cryptorchidism. In such a case, the baby boy’s testicles are not in the scrotum, but remain inside the abdominal area, requiring emergency surgical intervention to correct.
Undescended Testes Lawsuit Review: If you or somebody you know has a child who was born with undescended testes after being exposed to a prescription drug in the womb, you should contact our lawyers immediately. Consultations are always free. Please use our confidential email contact form or call toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.
Which drugs have been linked to undescended testes?
Many pregnant women have hormonal problems that make them so depressed they feel they may need a powerful prescription medication to help them deal with the issue. And though the drugs may help in combating the symptoms of depression in the expecting mothers, a far worse destiny may await their unborn children.
This is because a number of popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs have been found to cause devastating urinary tract injuries such as undescended testes. A baby born with undescended testes may face repeated surgeries just to gain the opportunity to lead a normal life. The following SSRI antidepressants have been linked to undescended testes in baby boys born to women who took the drugs during pregnancy – especially during the first trimester, a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant:
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Effexor (venlafaxine)
In addition to these antidepressants, the following epilepsy medications have also been associated with undescended testes in baby boys born to mothers who took the drugs during pregnancy:
- Depakote (Divalproex Sodium)
- Depakote CP
- Depakote ER
- Depakene (valproic acid)
- Depacon (valproate sodium injection)
Undescended Testes Overview
Undescended testes occur when a testicle hasn’t moved into its proper position in the scrotum behind the penis prior to the birth of a baby boy. In the fetus, the testes remain in the abdomen. As time goes on and development progresses, they migrate downward through the groin and into the scrotum. This event takes place late in fetal development, typically occurring during the eighth month of gestation.
However, in some newborn boys, the testes are not present in the scrotum, either because they did not descend or because they never developed in the womb. In most cases, just one testicle is affected, but in rare cases both testes may be undescended. Undescended testes are most common among babies born prematurely or before 37 weeks.
Types of Undescended Testes
According to Cornell University’s Pediatric Urology department, undescended testes can be classified according to the following categories:
- Testicular Retraction – Testes are withdrawn from the scrotum due to cremaster reflex. If a testicle can be milked down to the bottom of the scrotum, it is considered a retractile testis, and no further treatment is necessary. This phenomena usually disappears by puberty.
- Cannilicular Testis – The testicle is located above its normal position in the scrotum, but still outside the abdominal cavity. Tension from the external musculature of the body wall prevents normal descent into the scrotum.
- Intra-Abdominal Testes – Here the testicle is located inside the abdominal cavity residing in a position along its pathway of natural descent. In such a position, it is not able to be examined by a physician, and is at risk of becoming cancerous.
- Ectopic Testicle – Here the testicle may be found in regions not in the usual pathway of descent into the scrotum. Five major sites of ectopia are perineum, femoral canal, superficial inguinal pouch, suprapubic area, and contralateral scrotal pouch. This type of defect is believed to be due to misdirected attachment to the scrotum.
- Absent Testicle – In some cases, a testicle does not descend because it is absent (anorchia or anorchidism). An absent testicle on one side (unilateral) is called monorchidism (“single testicle”). It occurs in about 1 out of 5,000 males. Absence of both testicles (bilateral anorchia) is very rare, occurring in only about 1 out of 20,000 males.
Treatment of Undescended Testes
Nearly 80% of undescended testes cases naturally correct themselves during the first year of life. Approximately 3 to 4% of full-term baby boys have undescended testes, and half of these are corrected by three months of age. Up to a third of males born prematurely have testes that have not made the full descent. In about 5% of cases of undescended testes, the testis on one side is complete absent. In 10% of cases, both testes are completely absent.
In cases where the testicles have not descended by six months of age, specific treatment will be determined by the child’s physician based on:
- the child’s age, health, and medical history
- the extent of the condition
- the child’s tolerance for medications and therapies
- expectations for the course of the condition
- the opinions and preferences of the parents
Treatment options may include:
- hormonal therapy – certain hormones may stimulate the production of testosterone, which can help the testicles descend into the scrotal sac.
- orchiopexy – popular method of surgical repair designed to locate the undescended testicle and advance it to the scrotal sac. This technique is typically performed between months six and 18, and has been shown to be overwhelmingly successful in the vast majority of cases.
Is there a time limit in filing an undescended testes lawsuit?
Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their undescended testes lawyer, it is important that you understand that time is of the essence. The applicable statute of limitations in your state may time bar your claim. Furthermore, we are unable to provide you with legal advice without first evaluating your potential case. Accordingly, please take the time now to contact us by using the confidential email contact form below or by calling us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.
We hope we will be able to assist you with your potential undescended testes birth defects lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.
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