What are the causes of inguinal hernias

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
What are the causes of inguinal hernias

An inguinal hernia is a condition that occurs when part of the internal organs push through a hole in the abdominal wall. Although in many cases the patient will not show any symptoms, the most common sign is a lump in the groin area causing pain or sharp discomfort when carrying out certain day-to-day activities. In the following OneHowTo article, we will explain in detail what are the causes of the inguinal hernia.

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Steps to follow:

To understand the causes of inguinal hernias, first you should know difference between the two types of inguinal hernias, separated by their different characteristics:

  • Indirect inguinal hernias. This type of inguinal hernia is more common and can be a condition that you've had since birth. Men have a small inguinal opening within the groin area for the blood vessels going to the testicles and spermatic duct, but when this hole is too big, it could lead to the formation of an inguinal hernia.
  • Direct inguinal hernia This type of inguinal hernia develops when the part of the internal organs push through the hole created artificially in the abdominal wall. In most cases, this happens in the groin area.

The causes of the type of inguinal hernias are still not very clear, although as we mentioned in the previous step, this condition may be congenital and present from birth. This is because during the development of the foetus, the abdominal wall had not fully formed and, therefore, is weakened. In many cases, the bulge or lump in groin - the most obvious sign of an inguinal hernia - does not appear until you are much older. It is the same situation for children born with it as they probably won't show any clear symptoms until they reach adulthood.


When the inguinal hernia appears, it has been the result of a gradual weakening of part of the abdominal wall over time, which has then collapsed, been worn away or ripped apart, giving way to abdominal organs which push out of this hole through the inguinal canal, causing the hernia. That is why any activity of health problem which puts increased pressure on the abdominal wall, could develop into an inguinal hernia, and some of the more common trigger factors are:

  • Excessive or chronic coughing
  • Constipation
  • Being overweight
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Constantly carrying very heavy objects
  • Pregnancy

Once you know the possible causes of inguinal hernias, it is essential to find out what are the symptoms of inguinal hernias, and to go to the doctor if you have the slightest suspicion that you are suffering from this. This condition is diagnosed by way of a clinical examination or through an ultrasound if it is too small and is not clear enough to diagnosis by looking at it.


Although we cannot 100% prevent inguinal hernias, it is possible to take certain steps in your day-to-day life to help you avoid doing anything that can put excessive pressure on the abdominal wall.

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 What are the causes of inguinal hernias, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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What are the causes of inguinal hernias
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