An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue pushes through a weak abdominal muscle wall. This can occur in childhood or adulthood.The resulting bulge can be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object.Some inguinal hernias don’t cause any symptoms.
Inguinal hernia signs and symptoms:
- A burning, gurgling or aching sensation at the bulge
- A bulge in the area on either side of your pubic bone
- A heavy or dragging sensation in your groin
- Pain or discomfort in your groin, especially when coughing or lifting
- Pain and swelling around the testicles when the protruding intestine descends into the scrotum.
You should be able to gently and easily push the hernia back into your abdomen when you’re lying down.If not, applying an ice pack to the area may reduce the swelling enough so that the hernia slides in easily. Lying with your pelvis higher than your head also may help.If you aren’t able to push the hernia in, the omentum or a loop of intestine can be trapped in the abdominal wall.
If any of these signs or symptoms occurs, call your doctor right away:
- Nausea, vomiting or both
- Sudden pain that quickly intensifies
- Rapid heart rate
- A hernia bulge that turns red, purple or dark
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS IN CHILDREN
Inguinal hernias in newborns and children result from a weakness in the abdominal wall that’s present at birth.Sometimes the hernia may be visible only when an infant is crying, coughing or straining during a bowel movement.In an older child, a hernia is likely to be more apparent when the child coughs, strains during a bowel movement or stands for a long period of time.
An inguinal hernia isn’t necessarily dangerous by itself. It doesn’t get better or go away on its own, however, and it can lead to life-threatening complications.For this reason, your doctor is likely to recommend surgery to fix an inguinal hernia that’s painful or becoming larger. Inguinal hernia repair is a common surgical procedure.