A hernia develops when an organ pushes through a weakness or hole in the muscular wall (also referred to as the peritoneum), creating a bulge or lump in that area. While there are five different types of hernia, the most common is inguinal; a hernia that develops in the groin area. Inguinal hernias can also be classified into types: indirect and direct.
Like many other types of hernias, there are things you can do to lower your risks of inguinal hernias. In most cases, heavy lifting, constipation, and chronic coughing and sneezing can increase one’s chances of developing this type of hernia. But there are other types of risks associated with this condition. Firstly, males are more susceptible to this hernia than their female counterparts. Secondly, genetics also has a role to play. Those with immediate family members (i.e. parents, siblings) who have suffered with a hernia are more likely to develop one. While obesity and pregnancy are two very different conditions at opposite ends of the spectrum; the reason behind their increased risk of inguinal hernias are due to the extra pressure on their stomachs – one because of weight, and other thanks to a growing baby. Speaking of babies, premature infants are also more likely to develop inguinal hernias. Lastly, if you have had this type of hernia once, chances are the condition will come back; on the opposite side of the groin area.
Early detection is key when it comes to inguinal hernias. Failing to visit a doctor and pursue surgical treatment repair can lead to further issues. Moreover, as this type of hernia grows over time, it can place pressure on the tissues that it surrounds. Additionally, obstruction complications can develop, where a portion of the bowel is lodged and results in extreme pain, discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. Another major complication associated is strangulation, where the blood supply moving to a small intestine is compromised, and can essentially cause the intestine to shut down. Emergency surgery is required for both issues, and can be seriously detrimental to a person’s health. If you think you may be showing the signs and symptoms of an inguinal hernia, it is best to visit your doctor. A physician can perform an examination to see if you have developed the condition; or request an ultrasound or x-rays to confirm diagnosis. Catching a hernia early on will prevent any complications, pain, or emergency hospital visits.