What are the symptoms of an inguinal hernia?

Some inguinal hernias occur without symptoms. A bulge may be noticed in the groin, scrotum or labia. It may increase in size when abdominal pressure is increased, as occurs with coughing or heavy lifting. The area may be painful.

Common symptoms of inguinal hernias

Common symptoms of inguinal hernias include:

  • Bulging area or lump in the groin
  • Enlargement of the lump when abdominal pressure is increased
  • Lump that is reducible with gentle pressure
  • Painful lump
  • Pain radiating down the leg
  • Redness of the skin over a lump
  • Swelling of the labia or scrotum

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, an inguinal hernia can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Change in bowel habits, such as an inability to have bowel movements or pass gas
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Increased swelling of a known hernia
  • Not producing any urine, or an infant who does not produce the usual amount of wet diapers
  • Painful new bulge or mass
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe nausea and vomiting

What is an inguinal hernia?

A hernia is a protrusion of tissue from one area of the body through the wall that is supposed to contain it. Hernias can be present at birth due to incomplete closure of a structure, or they may develop later due to increased pressure pushing against a weakened area of muscle or its fibrous sheath (fascia). Inguinal hernias, which occur in about five in 100 children, more frequently in boys th... Read more about inguinal herniaintroduction


What causes inguinal hernias?

Inguinal hernias may be present at birth or they may develop over time. Hernias present at birth are called congenital hernias, and are also referred to as indirect hernias. They are a result of incomplete closure of the inguinal canal, the canal through which the testicles descend from their original intra-abdominal position into the scrotum. Direct inguinal hernias develop later in life as a ... Read more about inguinal herniacauses


How are inguinal hernias treated?

As with many diseases and conditions, treatment of inguinal hernias begins with maintaining a program of regular medical care throughout the course of your life. Regular medical care allows your health care professional to provide early screening for many conditions. And with regular medical care, your health care professional can more promptly evaluate symptoms and your risks for inguinal hern... Read more about inguinal herniatreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System

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