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Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Femoral Hernia

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Femoral Hernia

Medical attention is necessary for femoral hernias, particularly if they result in symptoms or complications.

A femoral hernia happens when tissue, like a portion of the intestine, bulges through a weakened area in the groin or at the top of the thigh.

Unlike other types of hernias, femoral hernias are more prevalent in women than in men.

According to Dr. Gaurav Maheshwari, Head and Senior Consultant in Surgical Gastroenterology at Paras Hospitals, Panchkula, protrusions develop around the groin in the upper thigh area, where the femoral artery passes.

This condition is observed to occur more frequently in women than in men. Here’s a summary of the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for femoral hernias:

Causes Of Femoral Hernia

Weakness in the Groyne Area

Femoral hernias frequently arise from a muscle wall weakness or opening in the groin or thigh area.

This weakness may be congenital or develop gradually due to factors such as aging, pregnancy,

or strain from activities like heavy lifting or persistent coughing.

Increased Intra-Abdominal Pressure

Factors that raise abdominal pressure, like obesity, constipation, chronic coughing, or heavy lifting,

can contribute to the formation of a femoral hernia by pushing tissue through the weakened area of the muscle wall.


  • Visible Bulge: An apparent protrusion or lump in the groin or upper thigh region, which may become more noticeable when standing, coughing, or exerting pressure.
  • Discomfort or Pain: Sensations of pain or discomfort in the groin or thigh area, particularly when bending, lifting heavy objects, or straining during bowel movements or urination.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Occasionally, a femoral hernia can result in nausea, vomiting, and a sensation of fullness or pressure in the abdomen.
  • Inability to Reduce the Hernia: Unlike certain other types of hernias, femoral hernias often cannot be manually pushed back into place or reduced.

Treatment Of Hernia 

Dr. Maheshwari explained that not all hernias necessitate treatment, as it hinges on their impact. Surgery might be necessary depending on the hernia’s size and symptoms, particularly for strangulated hernias, which demand immediate attention to prevent complications.

Strangulated hernias arise when the protruding intestines become trapped in gaps in the abdominal wall. Less invasive procedures like laparoscopy or standard surgeries are typically performed.

Dr. Maheshwari mentioned the use of mesh plugs to block protrusions in weakened intestinal walls, noting that advancements allow for same-day discharge due to shorter recovery periods following surgery.

For small femoral hernias without symptoms, doctors may advise a watchful waiting approach, monitoring changes over time.

Surgical intervention is commonly advised for femoral hernias to avert complications like incarceration, where the hernia becomes trapped and cannot be returned to its original position, or strangulation, where blood flow to the trapped tissue is obstructed, resulting in tissue damage or necrosis.

Surgery usually entails repositioning the protruding tissue and reinforcing the weakened muscle wall with stitches or mesh.

Lifestyle Modifications

Implementing lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, refraining from heavy lifting, addressing constipation, and quitting smoking can lower the chances of developing or exacerbating a femoral hernia.


In certain instances, your physician might recommend medication to alleviate symptoms like pain or discomfort related to the hernia.

Femoral hernias necessitate medical intervention, particularly if they lead to symptoms or complications. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial for averting severe complications and enhancing outcomes.

If you suspect you have a femoral hernia or are encountering symptoms indicative of one, it’s vital to seek evaluation and suitable management from a healthcare provider.

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