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The main symptom of a hernia is the appearance of a lump in your abdomen or groin area. The lump may be painless and only be discovered during a check-up.
In some cases, you may be able to push the lump back into your abdomen. This is known as a reducible hernia. A hernia that cannot be pushed back into place is known as an irreducible hernia. People with irreducible hernias are more likely to experience a bowel obstruction or an interruption of blood supply to the intestine, which is known as a strangulated hernia.
In some people, certain activities can cause a hernia to become painful. These activities include:
- bending over,
- lifting heavy objects,
- coughing, and
- having sex.
In some cases of inguinal hernias, the intestine can press down into the scrotum. This can cause pain and swelling around the testicles.
Symptoms of a bowel obstruction
There is a small chance that a section of intestine could become trapped in the weak spot. This could cause a blockage of the bowel and prevent you from being able to pass stools.
The symptoms of a bowel obstruction usually develop rapidly and include:
- intense pain,
- feeling bloated and full,
- nausea, and
Symptoms of a strangulated hernia
Another possible complication is that the section of intestine becomes so firmly wedged against the abdominal muscles that it loses the blood supply (strangulated hernia).
The symptoms of a strangulated hernia include:
- a steady pain that gradually gets worse,
- pain when the hernia is touched, and
- red skin around the hernia.
When to seek medical advice
You should always see your GP if you think you have a hernia. Even if the hernia is not causing you pain, you may need to be referred to a surgeon. Surgery may be needed to prevent a bowel obstruction or a strangulated hernia occurring.
Dial 999 and to request an ambulance if you think that you are experiencing the symptoms of a bowel obstruction or a strangulated hernia.
Both a bowel obstruction and a strangulated hernia can be life-threatening and require emergency surgery. ApproximatelyÂ five in 100Â of all hernia surgeries are carried out on an emergency basis.view information about Hernia on www.nhs.co.uk »
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