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Inguinal Hernia - Cause

Inguinal hernias, which occur when tissue bulges through the abdominal (belly) muscles and into the groin, are caused by:

  • An opening in the passage from the abdomen to the genitals (called the inguinal canal) that should close before birth but does not.
  • Abdominal muscles that are weakened by aging and the daily wear and tear of life.

Conditions that increase pressure within the abdominal cavity, such as frequent coughing or being overweight, may contribute to the development of hernias.

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A femoral hernia, sometimes mistaken for an inguinal hernia, occurs when tissue bulges from the lower abdomen into the upper thigh, just below the groin crease. The cause of a femoral hernia is often difficult to determine.

If you do not have an inguinal hernia, you may have one of the other common types of hernia. These include incisional, epigastric, and umbilical hernias in children and adults.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 15, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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