What Does a Hernia Feel Like?

If you do not have an inguinal hernia, see information on common types of hernias. These include incisional, epigastric, and umbilical hernias in children and adults.

Inguinal Hernia

An inguinal hernia (say “IN-gwuh-nul HER-nee-uh”) happens when tissue presses through a weak spot in your groin muscle. This causes a bulge in the groin or scrotum. The bulge might injure or burn.


Most inguinal hernias occur because an opening in the muscle wall does not close as it should previously birth. That leaves a weak area in the belly muscle. Pressure on that area can cause tissue to press through and bulge out. A hernia can happen right after birth or much later in life.

You are more likely to get a hernia if you are obese or you do a lot of lifting, coughing, or straining. Hernias are more common in men. A female may get a hernia while she is pregnant due to the fact that of the pressure on her belly wall.

What Does a Hernia Feel Like?

The primary symptom of an inguinal hernia is a bulge in the groin or scrotum. It often seems like a round lump. The bulge may form over a period of weeks or months. Or it might appear all of a sudden after you have actually been lifting heavy weights, coughing, bending, straining, or laughing. The hernia may hurt, but some hernias cause a bulge without pain.

A hernia also may cause swelling and a feeling of heaviness, tugging, or burning in the area of the hernia. These symptoms may get better when you lie down.

Unexpected pain, nausea, and vomiting are signs that a part of your intestine might have ended up being caught in the hernia. Call your doctor if you have a hernia and have these symptoms.


A doctor can typically understand if you have a hernia based upon your symptoms and a physical examination. The bulge is generally simple to feel.


If you have a hernia, it will not recover on its own. Surgery is the only way to treat a hernia.

If your hernia does not trouble you, you more than likely can wait to have surgery. Your hernia may get worse, however it might not. Sometimes, hernias that are little and painless might never need to be fixed.

Many people with hernias have surgery to fix them, even if they do not have symptoms. This is because lots of doctors think surgery is less dangerous than strangulation, a major problem that occurs when part of your intestine gets trapped inside the hernia.

But you may not need surgery right now. If the hernia is small and pain-free and you can press it back into your belly, you might have the ability to wait.

Babies and kids are most likely to have tissue get caught in a hernia. If your child has a hernia, she or he will require surgery to fix it.

A hernia might come back after surgery. To lower the chance that this will happen, stay at a healthy weight. Do not smoke, prevent heavy lifting, and try not to push hard when you have a defecation or pass urine.

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