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What is an inguinal hernia?

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Quick Answer

An inguinal hernia is a type of hernia that occurs when internal tissues push through a weak spot in the groin muscle, according to WebMD. This causes a bulge in the groin, or scrotum in men, that may burn or hurt.

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What is an inguinal hernia?
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Full Answer

These types of hernias are most common in men and can occur shortly after birth or later in life. Inguinal hernias typically happen because of a pre-existing issue, or because an opening in the muscle wall doesn’t close properly before birth, explains WebMD. This leaves a weak spot in the belly muscle. When pressure on this area is applied, the tissue pushes through the weak spot and bulges out.

Common symptoms of an inguinal hernia include a bulge on either side of the pubic bone, groin pain or discomfort, a heavy dragging sensation in the groin, pain and swelling around the testicles, and groin weakness or pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The bulge from an inguinal hernia can be very painful, typically when bending over, coughing or lifting heavy objects, says the Mayo Clinic. While this condition is not dangerous on its own and can even heal itself over time, it can lead to serious health complications. Most doctors typically recommend surgery for these hernias, particularly ones that are large or painful.

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