Differential growth, and the anchoring effect of the gubernaculum in the male position the testes at the deep inguinal ring by the third month of fetal life. Some time between the 7th and 9th month, the testes descend through the inguinal canal, posterolateral to the processus vaginalis, over the course of three days. The processus vaginalis normally closes shortly thereafter, leaving the tunica vaginalis around the testis. Persistent patent vaginalis leads to indirect inguinal hernia in a child see (pediatric inguinal hernia) or adult (see inguinal hernia folios). Fluid collection in the tunica vaginalis is a hydrocele (see hydrocele repair).
The trailing vas and internal spermatic vessels, forming the spermatic cord, are covered by the successive layers of the abdominal wall as the layers are traversed. During the last 5 weeks of gestation, the processus vaginalis usually closes off, leaving the funicular process proximally and the tunica vaginalis distally. The processus may persist several months after birth, or into adult life.
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