(Inguinal Hernia—Adult; Femoral Hernia—Adult)
by Amy Scholten, MPH
A groin hernia is tissue or fat that pushes through the abdominal wall. There are two types:
A hernia can trap part of the intestine. This is called strangulation. It needs care right away.
This problem is caused by a weakness in the muscles of the abdomen. It causes the tissues inside to press through and form a hernia.
Hernias are more common in men and older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Some people do not have symptoms. Those who do may have:
These serious symptoms may need care right away:
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:
Treatment will depend on symptoms and the type of hernia. For inguinal hernias, the doctor may watch for any changes. Femoral hernias may cause problems, especially in women. They may need surgery right away. Surgery may also be done to repair a hernia that is causing symptoms.
There are no known guidelines to lower the risk of a groin hernia. Regular exercise may help to keep the abdominal muscles strong.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Canadian Institute for Health Information
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_hernia.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.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 1/7/2021