Femoral Hernia

A femoral hernia results from the intra-abdominal tissues being pushed through a weak spot, when strained, into the femoral canal.

Femoral hernias are generally asymptomatic. However, occasionally is known to lead to complications if the blood flow to the intestine gets obstructed.

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What is a Femoral Hernia?


A femoral hernia results from the intra-abdominal tissues being pushed through a weak spot, when strained, into the femoral canal. The femoral canal is located below the inguinal ligament in the groin area. The femoral canal houses the femoral artery, small veins, and nerves.

Femoral hernias are uncommon. They are seen predominantly in females.

Hernias formed in the groin area are usually inguinal hernias. Femoral hernias account for 3 percent of all hernias. Femoral hernias are generally asymptomatic.

However, occasionally is known to lead to complications if the blood flow to the intestine gets obstructed.


Causes of Femoral Hernia


One can be born with a weakened area in the femoral canal that weakens further with ageing. However, the exact cause of femoral hernias has not been conclusively identified.

Contributing factors are activities which put pressure or strain on the muscles weakening them, leading to femoral hernia. Following are the factors that cause strain:

  • Chronic constipation
  • ​Obesity
  • Chronic coughing
  • Childbirth
  • Lifting heavy weights frequently
  • Strained urination due to an enlarged prostate


Symptoms of Femoral Hernia


Symptoms of small to moderately sized hernias generally go unnoticed. Even the bulge may not be noticeable.

The symptoms are noticeable and can cause discomfort only when the bulge grows large. Until it starts to cause pain when standing up, lifting heavy articles, or strain in any other form. As they are located very close to the hipbone, they may cause pain in the hip.

Severe symptoms for femoral hernia indicate that the intestines are being obstructed due to the hernia and need immediate medical attention. Severe symptoms include:

  • ​Sudden pain in the groin
  • Sharp pain in the abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea


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