A Groin Hernia is tissue or fat that pushes through the abdominal wall.
There are three types groin hernias that can occur in both males and females:
- Inguinal Hernia (most common)—a bulge in the groin (or scrotal area in men)
- Femoral Hernia a bulge in the groin, upper thigh, or labia (in women)
- Obturator Hernia a rare type of hernia of the pelvic floor in which the pelvic or abdominal contents protrude through the obturator foramen
This problem is caused by a weakness in the muscles of the abdomen. It causes the tissues inside to push through and form a hernia.
Hernias in the groin are more common in men and older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:
- Having a family history of hernia
- Wear and tear on muscles of the abdomen from:
- Lifting heavy objects for a long time
- Chronic coughing
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Ascites—a buildup of fluid
- Prior abdominal surgery
- Peritoneal dialysis
- Medical conditions that affect muscles and blood vessels
Some people do not have symptoms. Those who do may have:
- A bulge in the groin when standing or straining
- A bulge in the upper thigh
- A bulge that goes into the scrotum in men or the labia in women
- Pain, heaviness, or discomfort in the groin, especially when straining
These serious symptoms may need care right away:
- Severe pain in the groin or belly
- Belly swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam may be done. It will focus on the groin. This may be enough to make the diagnosis. If the diagnosis is not clear, images may be taken. This can be done with:
- MRI scan
- CT scan
There are no known guidelines to lower the risk of a groin hernia. Regular exercise may help to keep the abdominal muscles strong.
- Groin hernia in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/groin-hernia-in-adults-and-adolescents . Accessed January 7, 2021.
- Groin hernia: inguinal and femoral repair. American College of Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.facs.org/~/media/files/education/patient%20ed/groin%5Fhernia.ashx. Accessed January 7, 2021.
- Inguinal hernia. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/inguinal-hernia. Accessed January 7, 2021.
- Podolsky D , Novitsky Y. Robotic inguinal hernia repair. Surg Clin North Am. 2020 Apr;100(2):409-415.