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ICD-10 Q55.0
ICD-9 752.89

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Monorchism is the state of having only one testicle within the scrotum.


This can be due to:

  • One testicle not descending into the scrotum during normal embryonic or fetal development (3–4% of 'normal' live births), also known as: undescended testis or cryptorchidism. In this case the testis is within the abdominal cavity, somewhere along the normal route of descent — most commonly, within the inguinal canal. Such a testis has an increased risk of malignancy.

Notable cases

It has been claimed that both Hitler and Napoleon were afflicted by such a lack of symmetry, and suggested that this may have played a role in their particular psychological makeup.[citation needed] See Hitler Has Only Got One Ball.

Former Australian politician Mark Latham[1], American bicyclist Lance Armstrong[2] and Canadian comedian/actor Tom Green[3] all have monorchism, as one testicle was removed to treat testicular cancer in each case. The late Frank Church, U.S. Senator (D-Idaho) from 1957 to 1981 and a Presidential aspirant in 1976, also had monorchism, having had one testicle removed in the late 1940s while attending Stanford Law School. Although Church had been given only a year to live, the surgery plus X-Ray treatment put the cancer into remission. Church eventually lived until 1984, when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer[1], a quarter-century later. His monorchism was revealed publicly during the 1976 Presidential campaign.


An individual having monorchism can be referred to as monorchid.


  1. ABC: Testicular Cancer and Mark Latham
  2. - Lance Armstrong
  3. Urological Sciences Research Foundation page on Tom Green