How To Check For An Inguinal Hernia

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Check For An Inguinal Hernia
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When holes are created in the abdominal wall, the small intestine can go through them and enter the inguinal canal, leading to a hernia in the groin area. Inguinal hernias are one of the most common diseases and identifying it as soon as possible is essential to prevent a blockage of the blood flow or a myocardial from occurring in the affected area. Therefore, in this OneHowTo article, we explain how to check for an inguinal hernia and show you the symptoms.

You may also be interested in: How to exercise with a Hernia

Steps to follow:


Because of the anatomy of the inguinal area, such hernias are more common in men than women. Moreover, it does not only occur in adults, in fact 1 in 100 children suffer from inguinal hernias, especially if they have conditions such as cystic fibrosis or other alterations in the testicles, such as hydrocele.

How To Check For An Inguinal Hernia - Step 1
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There are two types of inguinal hernia - indirect and direct. Although both are caused by the weakness of the abdominal wall they have different characteristics:

  • Direct inguinal hernia This one is developed by the passage of the small intestine through a hole created in the abdominal wall. This hole is most commonly found in the crotch.
  • Indirect inguinal hernias. In men, blood vessels in the testes and seminal duct pass through a small hole in the internal inguinal canal. When this hole is larger than normal, the abdominal viscera may move to the groin area or even into the scrotum, and a hernia occurs. This type is most common among children.

To learn the possible causes, read our article on the Causes of Inguinal hernias.


The most obvious symptom of an inguinal hernia is a lump in the crotch. In cases of indirect hernias, in which the abdominal viscera enter the scrotum, the lump will be felt in this area. When we exert our abdomen, e.g. when we cough, the lump increases in size. The position where it is most noticeable is standing, because if it is not very big, it may disappear when we lie down.


It is possible that a person with an inguinal hernia may feel a mild pain in the groin area. This discomfort is usually not constant, it will be intermittent. Also, the intake of painkillers and pressure on the painful part can cause the discomfort to disappear. When the pain is severe and constant, it is likely that there are complications and you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.


In some cases, one of the most common symptoms is constipation. This occurs when the pain is prolonged and intense, since the act of defecating increases abdominal pressure, causing patients to avoid going to the bathroom.


If other symptoms of amore serious nature appear, such as fever, a significant increase in the size of the lump or hardening and unbearable pain, it is essential to consult a specialist immediately. Inguinal hernias often come with complications that should be treated as soon as possible.


When the lump in the groin is fixed, does not disappear when lying down, does not move when you touch it, and is accompanied by severe pain, this is often a symptom of one of the most common complications of an inguinal hernia, an incarcerated hernia. In these cases, it is important to operate on the hernia to avoid a worse condition. If left untreated, the blood flow is impaired until it is completely cut off, preventing blood flow and producing the so called strangulated hernia. Here the pain is much stronger and surgery is more urgent, since it can lead to an attack in the area.

How To Check For An Inguinal Hernia - Step 7

It is important to seek medical assistance as soon as you notice the first symptoms so that you can be tested and start treatment as soon as possible. The best way to remove a hernia is with surgery.

How To Check For An Inguinal Hernia - Step 8

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Check For An Inguinal Hernia, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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How To Check For An Inguinal Hernia