How Can You Tell If You Have a Hernia?

Symptoms of a hernia include swelling or bulging in the skin around the groin or abdomen, according to WebMD. This swelling is sometimes accompanied by pain, discomfort, tension or weakness around the groin and occasionally pain in the testicles, reports Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic explains that inguinal hernias are sometimes asymptomatic. Often a patient is unaware that a hernia is present until a doctor discovers it during an examination. When bulges appear with this type of hernia, the patient can typically push the hernia back inside the abdominal wall when lying down. If this is not immediately successful, it is sometimes helpful to ice the area to reduce swelling before pushing the hernia back inside the abdominal wall.

Mayo Clinic also describes incarcerated hernias, which are hernias that cannot be pushed back inside because they are trapped in the abdominal wall. In these cases, the tension holding the hernia in place can restrict blood flow and lead to serious damage if untreated. Treatment for this form of hernia requires surgery to put the herniated portion of the intestines back in place.

WebMD suggests seeing a doctor when there is concern that a hernia is present. Additionally, if nausea, constipation, vomiting or discoloration around the hernia occur, this is a possible medical emergency necessitating immediate medical care.