Most inguinal hernias cannot be prevented, especially in infants and children. Adults may be able to prevent a few hernias or prevent a hernia from recurring by following some of these suggestions:
- Avoid becoming overweight. Being overweight creates greater abdominal pressure and increases your risk for developing an inguinal hernia. Stay at a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
- Avoid rapid weight loss (such as in crash dieting). Rapid weight-loss programs may be lacking in protein and vitamins that are needed for muscle strength, causing weakness in the muscles of the abdomen.
- Stop smoking. Chronic coughing from smoking increases the risk for developing a hernia.
- Avoid constipation and straining during bowel movements and urination. Straining causes increased pressure inside the abdomen.
- Use good body mechanics when you lift heavy objects. Lift with your legs, not with your back. For more information, see the topic Back Problems: Proper Lifting.