Yes, here’s why women can also have hernias.

Usually, when we hear the word “hernia,” we think of guys, don’t we? However, let’s clear the air: hernias can and do occur in women.

Yes, here's why women can also have hernias.
Yes, here’s why women can also have hernias.

This widespread misperception is based on the reality that some hernia types are, in fact, more common in men. Hernias, however, are gender non-discriminatory. It is now time for women to educate themselves.

Recognizing hernias

To begin with, what is a hernia? To put it simply, it happens when a fatty tissue or organ pushes through a weak point in the fascia, the surrounding muscle, or connective tissue.

The inguinal (inner groin), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and hiatal (upper stomach) are the most prevalent forms.

Why women get hernias?

Hernias in women can occur for a variety of reasons, the most common being physical strain and pressure on the abdomen.

For example, because of the additional pressure on the abdominal wall during pregnancy, the risk is dramatically increased.

Hernias can also result from rapid movements or hard lifting, as well as from long-term constipation or coughing.

Moreover, surgical scars have the potential to weaken the abdominal wall and create hernia sites.

Symptoms to watch for

Hernias are problematic because they frequently present with no symptoms at all. While they do manifest, symptoms could include a prominent bulge and pain or discomfort in the afflicted area, particularly while lifting, coughing, or leaning over.

Chest pain, trouble swallowing, and acid reflux are possible symptoms of hiatal hernias.

Diagnosis and treatment

A trip to the doctor is necessary if you think you may have a hernia. Hernias are typically diagnosed by physical examination.

Imaging studies, such as MRIs and ultrasounds, are sometimes required to confirm the diagnosis. There are a variety of treatment options available, from surgical intervention for more severe cases to vigilant waiting for minor, asymptomatic hernias.

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