Most women, whether they have experienced the condition or not, are aware of varicose veins. They're painful. They cause some women emotional discomfort due to how the veins look. They're not life-threatening. They're inconvenient.
Believe it or not, men get a similar condition, in a less visible and more tender area. If your partner mentions a varicocele or you notice one, it might be time to help him help himself.
Varicoceles are dilated veins in the scrotum, a common condition that affects nearly 15 percent of men. They form when the valves in the veins don't work properly and blood collects in the scrotum, similar to how they form in the legs. Although varicoceles are not dangerous, they can hurt and cause low sperm production, decreased sperm quality and infertility. Varicoceles can also cause testicles to shrink or fail to develop.
If your partner has varicoceles, look for these symptoms and be prepared to help