What is a hernia?
The most common hernias, usually in men, appear in the groin and can be on the right or left side. The hernia appears as a bulge caused by a weakness in the muscle wall of the abdomen. Another type of hernia occurs around the belly button (umbilical).
What causes a groin hernia?
Above the groin is a small hole in the muscle wall of the abdomen where arteries and veins pass to the testicle. A weakness may be caused in this area through heavy lifting or some other strain. This results in a part of the bowel bulging (inguinal or femoral hernia). You may feel discomfort when coughing, standing for long periods, or carrying out some vigorous activity.
What are the alternatives?
You may at first find relief by lying down, which stops the hernia from bulging, but the only cure is an operation. The hernia is not dangerous but the discomfort will continue if not seen to. If left too long, it may become strangulated. This is when the loop of the bowel, which forms the hernia, twists on itself. Some people have hernias for years, but they have to be aware not to strain themselves which may stifle their lifestyle unnecessarily. It can be better to have the operation.
Below is our hernia information leaflet: