Different Types of Hernia in Men

A man with hernia with riding his bike

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The sort of person likely to get a hernia is not necessarily the one who lifts a heavy weight badly. A hernia is just as likely to occur during exercise, coughing, straining on the toilet or even as a result of having a lively sex life.

Hernias occur because of muscle weakness, often in or around the abdomen. Hernias happen where the cavity wall is weak. These points of weakness occur where there is a natural gap such as where a digestive tube or blood vessel passes or because of scar tissue.

Men commonly describe the sensation of a hernia as feeling like something has popped, or given way.

The name of a hernia relates to its location on the body. These are some of the types that may be seen in men.

Inguinal Hernias

Inguinal hernias are the common type of hernias. In men, the inguinal canal is where the testes descend before birth. The canal contains the spermatic cord and blood vessels. When an inguinal hernia occurs part of the intestine protrude down the canal and into the scrotum. Inguinal hernias are more common in men than women because the canal is bigger.

Femoral Hernias

More common in women, femoral hernias occur when part of the intestine protrudes through the femoral canal and protrudes through at the top of the thigh. The femoral canal is where the main blood vessels pass that supply the legs.

Umbilical Hernias

An umbilical hernia occurs when the abdominal wall is weakened at the point of the umbilical cord. Umbilical hernias are most common in children.

Epigastric Hernias

Epigastric hernias are protrusions of fat or sometimes intestine through the abdominal wall between the navel and the breastbone.

Ventral Hernias

This type of hernia occurs when scar tissue weakens the abdominal wall such as following a surgical operation or following trauma.

Obturator Hernias

An obturator hernia occurs when part of the intestine passes through the gap between the bones of the front of the pelvis.

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm, a hole usually occupied by the esophagus.

There are two main types of hiatal hernia. The sliding hiatal hernia which is the most common. The sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus and the top of the stomach protrude through the hole (hiatus) in the diaphragm. A hernia may slide up and down, in and out of the lower chest. This type of hernia is often quite small.

Rolling hiatal hernia is less common. Part of the stomach protrudes up through the hole in the diaphragm next to the esophagus.

Seeking Medical Advice

It is important to seek medical advice. An accurate diagnosis is required to receive appropriate treatment.

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