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An inguinal hernia happens when part of the intestine or other tissue pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. The bulge that forms can hurt, especially when you cough, bend over, or lift something heavy. But a lot of hernias don't hurt. A hernia in the groin is not always dangerous. It doesn't get better on its own, though, and can lead to problems that might harm you. If you have a painful or growing inguinal hernia, your doctor will likely tell you to have surgery to fix it. A common surgery is to fix an inguinal hernia.

What is an Inguinal Hernia?

A groin hernia is another name for an inguinal hernia. It is the most common kind of hernia in the groin. An inguinal hernia happens in the inguinal canal, which is a passageway that runs down each side of your pelvis and into your sex organs. A femoral hernia is a less common type of groin hernia, and it happens in the smaller femoral canal that runs under it.

A hernia happens when tissue from one part of your body pushes through a hole in your muscle wall and into another part of your body. There are different kinds of hernias that happen in other body parts. Most people who have a hernia have an inguinal hernia. It occurs when something like belly fat or a loop of intestines pushes through a hole in your lower abdominal wall. This is the wall between your belly button and your groin.

Types of Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal Hernia
Inguinal Hernia

Here are the main types of inguinal hernia in females:

1. Direct Inguinal Hernia

When you have a direct inguinal hernia, the bulge goes right through the wall of your inguinal canal. Adults get this kind of hernia over time because their abdominal muscles weaken, and they keep putting pressure on the muscle wall.

2. Indirect Inguinal Hernia

A hernia that comes in through the top. It is called an indirect inguinal hernia. Most of the time, this is caused by a problem at birth. During development in the womb, the openings to some babies' canals don't close all the way.

Causes of Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal Hernia
Inguinal Hernia

Here are the main causes of Inguinal hernia in females which are as follows:

  • The inguinal canal is a weak spot where the round ligament of the uterus goes and connects to the pubic bone.
  • If the muscles around the canal stretch or tear too much, fat or bowel from the abdomen could push through the canal and cause abnormal swelling.
  • A hernia can be caused by anything that puts more pressure on the abdomen, like being overweight, having a persistent cough from smoking, or having to strain often because of constipation.
  • There may also be a link to increased pressure in the abdomen during pregnancy.
  • The weakness can also happen when you strain to lift heavy things or when you work out.

Symptoms of Inguinal Hernia

A bulge in the groin or scrotum is the main sign of an inguinal hernia. It usually feels like a round lump and may be uncomfortable or painful. The bulge could take weeks or months to form. Or it can come on all of a sudden after doing something that puts stress on the back.

Treatment of Inguinal Hernia

In developing and developed countries, inguinal hernia surgery is the most common type of general surgery. About 2 out of every 1,000 people have this surgery every year. Surgery doesn't have to be done right away, but if a doctor finds an inguinal hernia, they need to watch it closely to see if the symptoms get worse. If the hernia tissue gets stuck or locked up, surgery will be needed more quickly.

The two main types of surgery are:

Treatment of Inguinal Hernia
Treatment of Inguinal Hernia

Open hernia repair: Most of the time, this is done while the person is completely unconscious. The fat and intestines are moved back into the abdomen through a cut in the groin. A piece of synthetic mesh is often put over the weak spot to keep it from happening again.

Treatment of Inguinal Hernia
Treatment of Inguinal Hernia

Laparoscopic hernia repair: Small cuts are made, and a thin tube with a camera on the end, called a laparoscope, is put in. This is usually done while the person is under general anesthesia. The repair process is done by following the images from the camera.

How does it affect you?

Because of how the body is built, inguinal hernias usually happen to people assigned to males at birth (AMAB). Your testicle starts above the lower wall of your abdomen and goes down through your inguinal canal to your scrotum. The opening where your testicle goes through is more likely to get a hernia because it already exists. This makes it easier for the opening to get bigger. And sometimes it doesn't even close all the way when it's being made.

People with a female body at birth (AFAB) have a narrower inguinal canal that starts under their abdominal wall. It carries the round ligament that supports their uterus, and this tough ligament helps to strengthen their muscle wall. But women with diseases of the connective tissue may be more likely to get hernias in the area where connective tissue joins the uterus to the inguinal canal. Babies who are AFAB may also be born with congenital indirect inguinal hernias.

Up to 75% of all hernias happen in the groin area. About 25% of those who are AMAB and 2% of those who are AFAB will get an inguinal hernia at some point in their lives. Direct inguinal hernias are more common in middle-aged and older men who have brought them over time. Up to 4.5 percent of children, including 2 percent of babies born AMAB and 1 percent of babies born AFAB, can get indirect inguinal hernias. Babies born early are up to 30% more likely to get one.

Takeaway

Most people heal faster after a laparoscopic hernia repair than after an open hernia repair, but complications are rare in either case. For a few weeks, it's best to avoid intense activity and heavy lifting, and painkillers are often given. Hernias can come back even after they've been fixed, so patients need to follow their doctor's aftercare instructions and advice to lower the chance of it happening again.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is it necessary to treat inguinal hernia?

A. Yes, if a hernia isn't treated, the part of the intestine that sticks out could get bigger and squeezed, which would cut blood flow to the surrounding tissue.

Q. What kinds of fruits should we eat in the case of an inguinal hernia?

A. Try fruits like apples, pears, melons, and berries instead of citrus fruits.

Also Read: Know About Hernia: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment