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J Urol. 2012 Sep;188(3):717-23. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Adult care of children from pediatric urology: part 2.

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Urology Centre and Department of Gynecology, University College Hospitals, London, United Kingdom.



We describe the outcomes of undescended testes and sex development disorders in adolescence and young adulthood. We reviewed the requirements for the long-term care of children born with these and other major congenital anomalies of the genitourinary system.


The current English language literature was retrieved with a PubMed® search for articles on these subjects. Only articles covering outcomes at ages past puberty were included in analysis. The material was supplemented from the database of the clinic for adults with sex development disorders at University College London Hospitals.


An undescended testis has impaired spermatogenesis. In men in whom a unilateral undescended testis was corrected before puberty the incidence of paternity is normal at around 90% of those who attempt it. The equivalent rate for those with bilateral undescended testes is about 65%. If surgery for bilateral undescended testes is delayed until after puberty, fertility is unlikely. The risk of testicular neoplasms is overestimated and the relative risk is between 2.5 and 8. Children born with a sex development disorder receive multidisciplinary treatment throughout childhood and require the same care as adults. Males who are under virilized likely have a micropenis (greater than 2 SD below the mean stretched length) but they may have normal sexual function. Fertility depends on the underlying condition. Virilized females, who most commonly have congenital adrenal hyperplasia, currently present to adult clinics with an inadequate vagina after infantile surgery. Reconstruction is required to allow intercourse.


The care of adults born with abnormalities of the genitalia is complex. Early management may define upbringing in childhood but requirements for sexuality and fertility in adult life are different. Multidisciplinary care is essential and a case can be made to establish a subspecialty of urology to coordinate it.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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