Female Hernia: Types and Treatment
What is female hernia and what is the best way to treat the problem? Hernias are the result when organs, such as the intestines, push against a weak abdominal wall. While some people have naturally weak abdominal walls others can strain and weaken their walls while lifting something heavy or through improper posture or even by poor weight management. Hernia is most often associated with men but the same symptoms can affect women also. Pregnancy and childbirth can contribute to weakening of the abdominal walls in women. Since the size of the hernia or the protrusion is usually the deciding factor in the amount of discomfort or pain that a patient feels women who have a small hernia may sometimes not feel any of the symptoms at all. Female hernia is often discovered only during a physical examination at a doctor's office.
Inguinal hernia, also called as groin hernia, is considered the most common of the abdominal wall hernias. Childbirth or an earlier surgery can cause strain and there can be increased pressure in the abdominal area and the most visible symptom is usually some bulging in the groin area. Sometimes, the bulge is painless and can be pushed back and at other times the inguinal hernia is painful and can lead to constipation and nausea.
Sometimes heartburn can be a sign of a type of hernia called hiatal hernia. In this case, the above average opening where the esophagus and stomach meet allows the stomach to slip up into the chest. Although that sounds very unnatural, there is not much pain associated with this type of hernia and it can go undetected. Sometimes doctors will investigate heartburn or acid reflux to rule out hiatal hernia.
Femoral hernia is manifested as a lump in the upper part of the thigh. There is pain in the groin area especially when women with this type of hernia bend to pick something up from the ground. With femoral hernia there is the real concern about the hernia getting strangulated which means the hernia can get stuck - This can cause a stoppage of blood flow and can potentially lead to gangrene.
Incisional hernia, as the name suggests, is hernia that develops in a region where there has been an incision - which means that this is in an area where there has been surgery of some sort. Surgical scars that have stretched out over time can leave the tissue thinner and vulnerable and intestines can push through the weakened tissue. Most often people feel this when they are increasing the strain in the region while coughing or lifting something. While this hernia is not associated with pain, the affected area is likely to be tender when touched.
Two less frequently seen types of female hernia are umbilical hernia and obturator hernia. Umbilical hernia is most often seen in infants but some adults have muscles in the navel area which have never completely closed. If this is seen in adults, and is apparent mostly through a bulge around the navel, surgery will be needed to deal with the problem. Obturator hernia is probably the hardest one to diagnose because this one does not have the typical bulge associated with other types of hernia. It affects the pelvic region and patients tend to feel nausea and constipation.
Many of the common types of hernia tend to heal on their own but sometimes when a hernia becomes strangulated or incarcerated, where the bulge gets stuck in an opening, surgery may be needed. Sometimes doctors may give antacids or recommend the use of a protein pump inhibitor or H-2 blocker based on the severity of the case. Given the possibilities of complications, it is important that patients seek medical advice at the earliest rather than assume that hernia is harmless.