The Differences between Hernias in Men versus Hernias in Women

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Atul Sharan

pictorial representation of hernia in both male and female
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Hernia in most simple terms is a lump or bulge in the abdomen or groin area which generally causes pain and discomfort. Hernias occur in both women and men. Hernia treatment for male and female patients vary slightly based on the type of hernia and severity.

What is Hernia?

Hernia is a condition that occurs due to a hole or weakness in the peritoneum or the muscular part that keeps the abdominal organs intact. Due to this defect in the peritoneum, the tissues and organs bulge or herniate causing discomfort.

The lump can be pushed back at times and sometimes disappears when the person lies down. It may reappear while coughing.

Types of Hernia that occur in Men and Women

Hernias occur when a tissue or organ bulges out of a weak spot in a muscle wall.Contrary to popular belief that hernias occur only in men, it is common occurrence in both genders.

portraying types of hernias

Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernias or groin hernias happen when part of the small intestine or fat bulge through the weak area in the abdomen into the inguinal canal of the groin. Inguinal hernias affect men mostly because they have only a small hole in the groin muscles through which the spermatic cord and the blood vessels can reach the testicles.

Femoral Hernia

The other type of hernia is the femoral hernia where a portion of the intestine bulges through a weak area below the groin, in the muscles of the upper thigh. Femoral hernias are more common in women than men due to the structure of the female reproductive system.

Umbilical Hernia

The third type of hernia is called the Umbilical Hernia. This is a condition that is a result of the lining of the tissue in the abdomen protruding into area of the belly button. Women are more affected by umbilical hernia as pregnancy is the major cause of umbilical hernias. This occurs due to excess stretching of the walls of the abdomen. Nevertheless, a few percentage of men also get affected by umbilical hernia.

Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernia is another category of hernia where the stomach bulges into the cavity of the chest through the diaphragm opening. This hernia is most common in older, obese women.

Also Read: Common Types of Hernias in Men!!

Hernia Symptoms and Diagnosis in Men and Women

  • Most hernias show the typical symptom of bulging or swelling in the pelvis or groin.
  • Inguinal hernias are accompanied by dull pain or ache while performing routine chores.
  • Patients with femoral hernias have more of inner, front leg and joint pain.
  • Pelvic pain in women is a telltale sign of inguinal or femoral hernia.

Hernia Treatment for Male and Female Patients

Surgery is the most common treatment for hernia in men and women as the condition doesn’t rectify by itself.In an open surgery, incision is made in the location of the hernia, the bulging tissue is pushed back and the weakened muscles are stitched back.Surgery in women is simpler as the hernia can be completely closed off whereas in men, a small opening needs to be kept to allow blood flow to the testicles.Another surgical method is laparoscopy, where the doctor performs hernia repair by inserting a thin device via insertions in the belly button.

portraying hernia treatment

Research has proven that laparoscopic surgeries have been very successful in women to prevent the recurrence of hernia.As far as prevention of hernia is concerned, like any other disease, lifestyle choices play an important role. Eating healthy, maintaining healthy weight, and avoiding smoking go a long way in preventing hernia in both men and women.

Also Read: Hernia belts: learn about their purpose and amazing benefits for hernia treatment!

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