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What are the Signs & Symptoms?

Inguinal hernias generally do not cause any symptoms, but may be revealed when your doctor conducts a routine medical exam. The bulge formed is more prominent when you stand, cough or strain, and may disappear while lying down as it slips back into the abdomen. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the groin
  • Heavy sensation in the groin
  • Burning or aching bulge
  • Pain and swelling around the testicles in men

The hernia can be easily pushed into the abdomen while lying down. Inability to push the hernia back into the abdomen may cause the hernia to become incarcerated (trapped). An incarcerated hernia may strangulate thereby disconnecting blood supply to the trapped part of your intestine. This is a dangerous situation and may require emergency medical help. Symptoms of a strangulated inguinal hernia include:

  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sudden quick intensifying pain
  • Reddish or bluish discolouration of the bulge
  • Nausea and vomiting

In children, inguinal hernia is visible only when the child stands for a long time, while coughing, crying or straining during bowel movements.