What Are the Risk Factors and Symptoms of Inguinal Hernia?

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Risk factors that contribute to developing an inguinal hernia include:
  • Being male. Men are eight times more likely to develop an inguinal hernia than are women.
  • Being older. Muscles weaken as you age.
  • Being white.
  • Chronic cough, such as from smoking.
  • Chronic constipation. Constipation causes straining during bowel movements.
  • Family history. You have a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has the condition.
  • Pregnancy. Being pregnant can weaken the abdominal muscles and cause increased pressure inside your abdomen.
  • Premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Previous inguinal hernia or hernia repair.
Inguinal hernia signs and symptoms include:
  • A bulge in the area on either side of your pubic bone, which becomes more obvious when you're upright, especially if you cough or strain
  • A burning or aching sensation at the bulge
  • A heavy or dragging sensation in your groin
  • Pain or discomfort in your groin, especially when bending over, coughing or lifting
  • Weakness or pressure in your groin
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