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What types of hernias are most common in women?

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Quick Answer

Indirect and femoral hernias are the most common hernias that occur in women, according to the Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. These hernias cause chronic pelvic pain in women, a symptom that most practicing physicians misdiagnose.

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Full Answer

Although more common in males, the indirect inguinal hernia also occurs in females, as indicated by Radiopaedia. In females, the indirect inguinal hernia passes through the inguinal ring into the inguinal canal. From the inguinal canal, the hernia follows the round ligament into the labia majora.

Femoral hernias occur rarely, but they are more common in women due to the wider female pelvis, as explained by Medic8, with three-quarters of all femoral hernias occur in women. This hernia protrudes into the top part of the groin or the inner thigh, and its components include bodily tissue or part of the smaller intestines. The hernia passes through the femoral canal, a weak spot that is located in the abdominal wall through which major nerves and blood vessels pass from the abdomen into the leg. Femoral hernias develop at a point where there is an underlying weakness, and increased abdominal pressure increases the risk of this hernia developing. Some of the factors that increase abdominal pressure include pregnancy, constipation and obesity.

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