Men's Articles

What Is Hernia?

A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening or weakness in the muscle around it. Signs and symptoms include one of the following: a lump in the groin or umbilical area that usually returns to its normal position with gentle pressure or by lying down; a protrusion at the site of a previous surgery; scrotal swelling, with or without pain; or fullness or swelling in the lips of the vagina.

There are five common types of hernias that affect athletically active people and all can cause mild discomfort or pain at the site of the lump, particularly with exercise or competitive sports. Hernias can be prevented as the weakened area will not herniate until it ruptures with heavy lifting or straining.

Don't strain when having bowel movements. If you have to lift, lift properly by bending your knees, lift the object and rise using your leg muscles. Keep the object close to your body; don't bend from the waist and lift. If you have a hernia, don't use weight-lifting equipment until the hernia has been repaired surgically.

Treatment requires a doctor's diagnosis and surgery is necessary for the repair of the opening caused by the weakened muscle or connective tissue. Umbilical hernias usually heal spontaneously by age 4 and rarely require surgery. If the hernia becomes strangulated, which means it loses its blood supply, it may cause severe illness, including intestinal obstruction, fever, severe pain and shock. If you have the symptoms of a hernia, call your doctor. If you also have fever or severe pain, call immediately!


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