If you’ve noticed a slight lump or bulge under your skin in your
groin or abdomen area that is accompanied by pain or discomfort, you might
have a hernia. Hernias most often occur when the stomach or other organs
in the abdomen poke through a tear or weak spot in your muscle. Common
reasons you may get a hernia include lifting heavy objects, a chronic
cough, constipation, or playing sports involving fast twists and turns,
such as hockey or soccer.
In some cases, a hernia does not cause pain, but swelling or a bulge may
be noticed. Pelvic pain is a common symptom but this may also occur due
to other diseases or conditions. You may also notice that symptoms become
worse when straining, lifting heavy objects or standing. Being overweight,
smoking, and increased age are risk factors associated with hernias.
Hernias occur in different areas of the body and go by different names:
Inguinal hernias – These are the most common type of hernia. They occur in the groin
and usually occur in men.
Femoral hernias – These hernias also occur in the groin but are more common in women.
Hiatal hernias – These develop when the upper part of the stomach bulges upward
through a wall of muscle into the chest. This type of hernia may cause
heartburn or acid reflux.
Umbilical hernias – These form in babies when the muscles around the belly button
don’t join properly. They can also occur in adults.
Incisional hernias – These form along the site of a surgical incision in the abdomen.
If you think you have a hernia, see a doctor. In some cases, no treatment
will be necessary right away. But a hernia will not just go away on its
own and may require surgery, especially if blood flow to the organ is