What Are the Risk Factors and Symptoms of Inguinal Hernia?

Q:
What are the risk factors and symptoms of inguinal hernia?

A:
Risk factors that contribute to developing an inguinal hernia include:

  • Being male. Men are eight times more likely to develop an inguinal hernia than are women.
  • Being older. Muscles weaken as you age.
  • Being white.
  • Chronic cough, such as from smoking.
  • Chronic constipation. Constipation causes straining during bowel movements.
  • Family history. You have a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has the condition.
  • Pregnancy. Being pregnant can weaken the abdominal muscles and cause increased pressure inside your abdomen.
  • Premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Previous inguinal hernia or hernia repair.

Inguinal hernia signs and symptoms include:

  • A bulge in the area on either side of your pubic bone, which becomes more obvious when you’re upright, especially if you cough or strain
  • A burning or aching sensation at the bulge
  • A heavy or dragging sensation in your groin
  • Pain or discomfort in your groin, especially when bending over, coughing or lifting
  • Weakness or pressure in your groin
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.