Hernias in women are very difficult to diagnose. These are very small and very hard to identify. As women typically experience internal hernias, they are more likely to feel consistent pain. If you want to know more about the types of hernia that develop in females and possible treatment options, keep reading.
Causes of Hernia in Women
There are various causes that contribute to the development of hernias in women. Some of the common causes are discussed below-
- Chronic cough
- Chronic sneezing
- Increased abdominal pressure
- Pregnancy (Know here: Umbilical hernia during pregnancy)
- Straining excessively during bowel movements
- Doing strenuous activity
- Weakness near a specific area in the abdomen
Now that you are aware of the common causes responsible for hernias occurring in men, let’s have a look at why some particular types of hernias occur in women.
Several femoral hernias tend to develop in females belonging to the age group-40 to 60. This age group is more prone to developing a hernia as the muscles wear off with age. Moreover, a person who may have prior surgery near the groin is more likely to develop an inguinal hernia. In women, when there is a weak spot in the femoral canal- the space containing fat and lymph nodes-a femoral canal occurs.
Risk Factors for Hernia in Females
There are several factors that can increase the risk of a hernia developing in females. Some of them are explained below-
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic cough
- Premature birth and low birth rate
- Giving birth
- Lifting heavyweights
- Build-up of abdominal fluid
Types of Hernia in Women
This is the most common type of hernia that develops in females. The femoral canal contains the femoral artery and other blood vessels. A hernia occurs in the femoral canal when the tissue bulges through the weak spot in the abdomen near the groin. The herniated tissue can move through the opening and get inside the groin or thigh.
The second most common type of hernia that occurs in women is umbilical hernias. When the abdominal wall weakens near the belly button during pregnancy, an umbilical hernia develops. A person can see the tissue protruding outward from the navel. This type of hernias is also common in babies. Although harmless, leaving this untreated can also lead to complications.
As the hernia occurs internally, it is not visible from outside. In hiatal hernias, the upper part of the stomach pushes through the hole in the diaphragm- an area occupied by the esophagus. In some cases, hiatal hernia can accompany acid reflux and heartburn.
Also Read: Difference between GERD and Hiatal hernia
Symptoms of Hernia in Women
In the majority of cases, the hernia doesn’t show any signs or symptoms. Usually, during a routine physical examination, hernia in women get diagnosed. Some of the symptoms and signs that women are likely to experience when they develop a hernia are-
- Pain that varies from minor to agonizing
- Burning sensation near the hernia
There can be some severe symptoms when the hernia gets worse such as gets strangulated. Some of them are-
- Excruciating pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unable to pass gas
- Tenderness or worsening around the swelling
- Elevated heart rate
- Redness around the bulge
Diagnosis of Hernia in Women
At the doctor’s chamber, explaining what exactly is triggering the pain or alleviating it, can help the doctor in proper diagnosis. He/She will also look out for internal abdominal pressure when the patients lift weight or exercises, coughs, laughs, or even strains in the bathroom. Followed by this, the doctor recommends an ultrasound of the abdomen and groin area to confirm the diagnosis. The imaging technology helps the doctor to identify the defect in the muscle wall as well as protruding tissue.
Know here: What to expect during diagnosis of hernia?
Treatment of Hernia in Women
If a hernia is not causing any symptoms, these can be managed with simple home remedies and preventive measures. When hernias are left untreated, it can cause extreme discomfort that can only be cured using surgical intervention as treatment.
Know here: Role of laparoscopy in treating hernia