Hernias can be complex. Learning more doesn’t have to be.

Common Hernia Symptoms to Check For

  • Is there an unknown bulge in your abdomen or in your groin area?
  • Do you have discomfort or pain in your abdomen or groin when you bend or lift something?
  • Do you suffer from acid reflux, difficulty swallowing or regurgitation?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consult a physician about a possible hernia.

Signs and Symptoms

A hernia may be noticed as a bulge or protrusion that is most noticeable when coughing, lifting, or rising from a sitting to standing position. 

Hernias typically do not cause a sharp pain. They more often cause mild pain, dull aches, and the sensation of increased pressure at the site. Sharp pain typically is only present in inguinal hernias in females.1

Rarely, a hernia can become 'incarcerated' or 'strangulated,' at which point the bulge is no longer 'reducible.' This is when the lump is no longer able to be gently pushed back down into the abdomen. In these instances, pain may be severe and nausea and vomiting may develop. If this occurs, seek immediate medical attention.2

People who have strangulated or incarcerated hernias, which occur when tissue bulging through the abdomen cannot be pushed back in, may experience the following symptoms:3

  • A sudden onset of pain that intensifies quickly
  • Nausea
  • Involuntary vomiting
  • Bloody stool
  • Tenderness at the site of the bulge/hernia
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
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