The main difference between an inguinal and a femoral hernia is location, explains WebMD. Inguinal hernias occur in the abdominal wall or groin, while femoral hernias occur in the upper thigh. Additionally, men are more likely to develop inguinal hernias, and women are more likely to develop femoral hernias.
An inguinal hernia occurs as the intestine or bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall or into the inguinal canal, while a femoral hernia occurs when the intestine enters the canal that carries femoral artery, states WebMD. Femoral hernias are common in women who are pregnant or obese. Men get inguinal hernias more often, because there is a natural weakness in the area they develop.
All hernias are a result of pressure and an opening or weakness of the muscle in a certain area, explains WebMD. This muscle weakness can occur at birth or with age. Activities that increase in pressure in the abdomen and cause a hernia include lifting heavy objects, coughing and sneezing in excess, and constipation or diarrhea. The pressure that results pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot in the muscle. Additionally, physical conditions and lifestyle choices such as obesity, a poor diet and smoking can cause weakening of muscles and increase the risk of hernia development.