There are several general categories of hernia that you can have. The most common are the following:
- Incisional: The result of a surgical incision or trauma.
- Inguinal: Occurring in the inner groin area.
- Femoral: Affecting the outer groin.
- Umbilical: Related to the belly button.
- Hiatal: Within the upper stomach.
The second example, inguinal, occurs where the thigh joins with the torso, at the inguinal crease. This seam is responsible for three quarters of all abdominal hernias, and men are 25 times more likely to experience an inguinal hernia than women. If you feel a soft bulge in your stomach or groin area that seems to disappear when you lay down or when you press directly on it, you may have a hernia, and you should go see a doctor. This is especially so if you feel pain in the same area when you use the toilet, cough forcefully, lift something heavy, or even when you just bend over. A hernia may also present itself as an extremely painful and tender lump that cannot be pushed down (it has become irreducible). In such a case, strangulation is likely occurring and an urgent visit to the emergency room is necessary. A strangulated piece of intestine can lead to a dead bowel in just six hours.