Most people think of hernias as a male condition. However, women can also develop hernias. In fact, inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia in females.
Unfortunately, healthcare providers may misdiagnose hernias in women due to the common perception that they only affect men, resulting in delayed treatment and increased discomfort and pain.
This article will explore inguinal hernias in females, the symptoms to look out for, and potential misdiagnoses that you may experience.
Inguinal Hernia In Females
Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia in females, accounting for up to 75% of all hernias in women.
An inguinal hernia occurs when a part of the intestine or other tissue protrudes through a weakened spot in the abdominal wall near the groin.
Some factors that may increase the risk of developing an inguinal hernia in females include pregnancy, obesity, chronic coughing, and straining during bowel movements.
Symptoms Of Inguinal Hernia In Females
The most common symptom of an inguinal hernia in females is a bulge or lump in the groin area. This bulge may be more noticeable when standing or coughing and may disappear when lying down. Other symptoms may include pain or discomfort in the groin area, especially when bending over, lifting heavy objects, or coughing.
Some women may also experience a feeling of pressure or heaviness in the groin area during sex.
Possible Misdiagnosis Of Pelvic Pain In Females
Unfortunately, since hernias are more commonly associated with men, hernias in women may be misdiagnosed as other conditions. For example, healthcare providers may send women with inguinal hernias to a gynaecologist for a pelvic pain evaluation, which can result in misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.
In some cases, inguinal hernias may be misdiagnosed as ovarian or uterus conditions, such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis. This can lead to unnecessary and invasive treatments, such as surgery.
Inguinal Hernia Repair For Females
The treatment for inguinal hernias in females is similar to that for males and typically involves surgery. Surgeons can perform inguinal hernia repair surgery as either an open surgery or a laparoscopic surgery. During open surgery, a longer incision is made in the groin area, the protruding tissue is pushed back into place, and the weakened area is reinforced with stitches.
During laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a tiny camera to aid in repairing the hernia.
Raising awareness of inguinal hernias in females can help ensure that women receive proper diagnosis and treatment for this common condition. If you are looking for a trusted doctor who can answer your questions about hernias, consider scheduling an assessment with our team to understand your health better. Contact us directly via WHATSAPP or call our CLINIC for assistance.