An inguinal hernia is a common type of hernia. It occurs when the contents of your abdomen bulge through a weak point in the lower part of the abdominal wall into the groin. The hernia often contains intestine or fat tissue.
Inguinal hernias are more likely to develop with age. It is thought that this is because the abdominal muscles weaken over time.
Inguinal hernias are also more common in males, people with a lower body mass index, manual workers or athletes, men following prostatectomy, those with a chronic cough, smokers, people with connective tissue disorders or a family history of inguinal hernias, or if you have already had an inguinal hernia repaired on the same or other side.
An inguinal hernia usually appears as a bulge at the groin, or at the top of your inner thigh. It can also present as an enlarged scrotum. An inguinal hernia often appears when lifting something and subsides when lying down.
Inguinal hernias can be diagnosed through a physical examination and an analysis of symptoms.