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Inguinal hernia is a protrusion of intestines in the inguinal canal, which is located in the abdomen. Inguinal hernia occurs when tissues of intestines become weak and protrude forward, developing the bulge which can be visible. This bulge can cause considerable pain, especially when a person is physically active or when he/she tries to pick something up from the floor. The pain can also be exacerbated when a person is coughing or lifts weights.
Inguinal hernia is not considered to be a very dangerous condition, although it is known to cause certain complications if not treated on time. This disease is more common in men than in women.
Inguinal hernia is usually caused by congenital or acquired gap in inguinal canal. This condition is most common in children. There are two types of inguinal hernia: unilateral and bilateral. In the first type hernia protrudes only from one side, while in second - from both. The second type is more dangerous. Inguinal hernia is very rare in adults and children over 10 years. In babies it can be caused by premature birth, when their initial weight is lower than 2 kg.
Some inguinal hernias do not cause any symptoms. A person sometimes does not even know about its existence. In other cases inguinal hernia can be visible and even felt as a bulge, which becomes more apparent when a person is standing up. Usually when a person is lying down bulge disappears. If it is very big and causes discomfort, a person needs to push it back or to adjust his/her body, so that abdomen is higher than head.