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Inguinal Hernias

Inguinal Hernias are a type of groin hernia where the contents of the abdominal cavity (generally the small intestine) pokes through the deep inguinal ring.

The inguinal ring is the entrance to the inguinal channel which is the path of the descending testes in men (in utero) and the channel that houses the spermatic chord. In women it conveys the round ligament which is involved with the female sexual organs. In women the inguinal ring is smaller than in men and accounts for why fewer women suffer from this type of hernia.

Symptoms

The hernia may appear as a bulge or lump in the groin area that becomes more pronounced when straining, standing up or coughing. When you lie down you may notice the bulge disappear and there will probably be little or no pain associated with the lump.

If there is severe pain associated with the hernia this can indicate more serious complications and will require surgery promptly.

Causes

There are no obvious cause for this type of hernia although heavy lifting, straining when going to the toilet, coughing or sneezing, vigourous exercise or sex can contribute. Family history of hernias for both men and women can be a cause or having an undescended testical can be a cause in men.

Repair

Sometimes the hernia can be pushed back into place but if this is not the case, surgery will be required. Repair of a inguinal hernia can be done laparoscopically and is performed as an outpatient surgery with quick recovery times and minimal risk. Find out about hernia surgery.

Read more about different types of hernias.