Bulges along the pubic area upon coughing or standing, which may be painful or sensitive to touch, are the primary symptoms of an inguinal, or groin, hernia, states Healthline. A heavy sensation in the groin, pain with bending or exercising, burning sensations and, in men, scrotal swelling, are additional symptoms.
Hernias are not life threatening, with one exception, notes WebMD. If a loop of intestine slips through the herniation and becomes trapped, blood flow to the intestine can be reduced or cut off entirely, causing tissue death, called strangulation. This is an emergency requiring immediate surgery to free the intestine and restore blood flow. Nausea, vomiting and sudden, sharp pain are symptoms of a strangulated hernia. Fever and a rapid heart rate are additional symptoms of a strangulation, adds Mayo Clinic.
Risk factors for inguinal hernias include a history of chronic coughing, chronic constipation leading to straining during bowel movements, and a family history of the condition, explains Mayo Clinic. Additional risk factors include pregnancy, being overweight, and job histories that include heavy physical labor or standing for long periods of time.
An inguinal hernia is a weakening of the lower abdominal muscles in the groin area that allows fatty tissue, or intestinal tissue to push through into the inguinal canal, states Healthline. Doctors use surgery, either laparoscopic or open, to repair the opening. It is a common procedure with good outcomes.