Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Testicle issues

Kimi was 13 month old when the Child Health Nurse in Sydney noticed his testicles were not in the scrotum or somehow difficult to locate. It was not a problem when he was born or even during his previous required check-up at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months so we were really surprised. I remembered we took effort in "heating" Kimi's testicles when he was a newborn until he reached 3 months. I did that during the regular morning massage by rubbing my palms with baby oil and placing my palms on Kimi's testicles to transfer the heat that helps develop the testicles.

Upon learning about the possibility of undescended testicles, the worried mom in me researched about it in the internet. Undescended testicle occurs when the testicle or both testicle are absent in the scrotum and are lodged instead in the groin or in the lower abdomen. The testicles may be undescended at birth especially for premature babies or those with low birth weight. But, they may eventually descend at 6 months. If that doesn't happen, a surgical procedure may be needed to correct it to allow full development of the testicles and prevent associated health problems like hernia, testicular cancer, trauma, infertility, and poor self-image. Reading about that made me more fidgety.

On the other end, hubby and MIL (mother-in-law) requested a referral from the GP and booked an appointment with a Paediatrician. I couldn't believe it takes 3 weeks wait to see a Paedia in Australia even with a private doctor. I reckon this doesn't happen in Manila under the same circumstances. And mind you the doctor's fee was really at the roof. We paid $160 for a less than 10 minute check and only recovered about $66 from Medicare. The good thing, though, is that Kimi doesn't have an undescended testicles but retractile testicles. In this case, the testicles are in the scrotum but they are hiding somewhere especially when it's cold. It doesn't require corrective surgery but should be regularly checked and monitored. What a relief!

Since then hubby checks them on a regular basis especially after a bath. However, few weeks ago, he was a bit concerned as he can only locate one of the testicles. So even without the need to have an 18 month check with the GP, I booked one with the GP who checked him at 6 weeks to appease us once again. I would have sent him to a Paediatrician again if it was not expensive.

During the appointment, GP emphasised that she doesn't do 18 month check. I told her I knew about it and I've booked with the Maternal and Child Health Nurse (MCHN) for next month. I expressed our concern with Kimi's testicles and two other things (that need a separate article). She checked them and in less than 30 seconds, showed us both testicles at the same time. She advised there is nothing to worry about and she thinks Kimi is progressing well.

Parents always want to be assured that their baby is doing great and developing well. If you come across with the same dilemma, don't hesitate to have your baby checked by the doctor. Afterall, it is best to know from the expert.

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