Symptoms of an inguinal hernia may include:
- A bulge in the groin or scrotum. The bulge may appear gradually over a period of several weeks or months. Or it may form suddenly after you have been lifting heavy weights, coughing, bending, straining, or laughing. Many hernias flatten when you lie down.
- Groin discomfort or pain. The discomfort may be worse when you bend or lift. Although you may have pain or discomfort in the scrotum, many hernias do not cause any pain.
Other symptoms of a hernia include:
- Heaviness, swelling, and a tugging or burning sensation in the area of the hernia, scrotum, or inner thigh. Males may have a swollen scrotum, and females may have a bulge in the large fold of skin (labia) surrounding the vagina.
- Discomfort and aching that are relieved only when you lie down. This is often the case as the hernia grows larger.
Hernia symptoms in children
In infants, a hernia may bulge when the child cries or moves around.
Strangulated hernias, in which part of the intestine becomes trapped in the hernia, are more common in infants and children than in adults. They can cause nausea and vomiting. An infant with a strangulated hernia may cry and refuse to eat. A strangulated hernia is a medical emergency that requires immediate surgery.