SSRI antidepressant medications taken by women during pregnancy have been linked to a variety of severe birth defects, such as undescended testicles, where a boy’s testicles do not emerge from the abdomen into the scrotum. Though most undescended testicles resolve on their own within a few months after birth, boys whose testicles do not descend require hormonal therapy or surgical treatment. Later in life, they are at an increased risk of testicular cancer and fertility problems. Many women who took SSRI antidepressants are now contacting The Clark Firm LLP for legal action against the drug-companies.
Do I Have an Undescended Testicles Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect after taking an SSRI, antidepressant, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Undescended Testicles lawsuit.
Undescended Testicles Overview
The testicles are a part of the male reproductive system, where the body makes hormones and sperm. While every male fetus is developing in the mother’s womb, his testicles form inside his abdomen. Usually, they move down into the scrotum (a sac of skin outside the body) shortly before birth or shortly after birth. Sometimes, one or both of the testicles does not move down into the scrotum. It is very common, occurring in up to 30% of premature males, and 3-5% of males born full-term. The issue usually resolves on its own, with the testicles moving outside the body within the first few months of life. By three months of age, the incidence is reduced to 0.8%. After three months of age, testicles rarely descend on their own. If it does not occur by the time the child is 4-6 months of age, a doctor may need to treat the child. Sooner treatment is better.
Antidepressants, SSRIs, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Symbyax, Wellbutrin, Zyban, Lustral, Effexor linked to Undescended Testicles
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs: The following medications have been linked to undescended testicles.
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Signs & Symptoms of Undescended Testicles
When a boy is born, a doctor will check for an undescended testicle by feeling the baby’s scrotum. If the doctor cannot feel the testicle inside the scrotum, it is called “nonpalpable.” The reason for this may be that the testicle is still inside the abdomen, too small, or nonexistent. The doctor will need to perform an X-ray to find out which is the case.
Complications of Undescended Testicles
Cancer: It is well-documented that men born with an undescended testicle have a higher incidence of testicular cancer. The incidence is approximately one in 1,000-2,500. Though this is higher than the general population (one in 100,000), doctors do not recommend the removal of the testicle.
Sub-fertility or infertility: Men who have had an undescended testicle have lower sperm counts, poorer quality sperm, and lower fertility rates than men whose testicles descended normally. The likelihood of fertility problems increases relative to the time it took for the testicle to descend. For this reason, treatment of undescended testicles is recommended as early as 6 months and should be completed before age two.
Treatment & Prognosis
Untreated undescended testicles can present problems for boys, because the higher internal temperature can inhibit normal development of the testicle and normal production of sperm. This can lead to infertility. The asymmetry can also cause the boy to have self-image problems when he gets older.
Treatment can be hormonal, surgical, or a combination of these two treatments. Because the descent of testicles is normally hormonally-induced, sometimes administering these hormones can cause the testicle to descent. Hormone treatment involves using testosterone, and there must be high levels of this hormone in the testicular area. Doctors may use gonadotropins to stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone. Even with hormone therapy, a very high undescended testicle is unlikely to respond to hormone treatment. Side effects of testosterone hormone treatment can include enlargement of the penis, pubic hair growth, increased testicular size, and aggressive behavior.
Surgical repair for an undescended testicle that can be felt in the groin is usually straightforward, and the surgeon moves the testicle into the scrotum. If the surgeon cannot feel the testicle, it may be deep inside the abdomen, or nonexistent. It is important to find the testicle to reduce the risk of cancer. If the testicle is severely underdeveloped, the surgeon may remove it entirely to reduce the risk of complications for the boy later in life.
It is important for all males who were born with an undescended testicle be taught how to do a self-examination for lumps that might be signs of medical problems. They should also have periodic follow-up examinations to ensure normal fertility and testicular function.
Do I Have a Undescended Testicles Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
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