Published November 10, 2020
Could my pelvic pain be due to a hernia? It’s not usually the first thing that comes to mind. When most of us think of anything related to the pelvis and having pain, we assume it must be associated with a female disorder of some kind. Not only is that not always true, but pelvic pain can also affect men. Here’s what you should know about pelvic pain and hernias.
A hernia doesn’t go away on its own, it may continue to grow, and it will likely require a surgical repair. An inguinal hernia is one in which tissue from part of the intestine protrudes through a weak part in the abdominal muscle wall. This bulge can become quite painful when you cough, lift something heavy, or bend over.
Sometimes the weakness in the abdominal wall occurs at birth when the lining of the abdominal wall does not completely close. Or, you may develop it later in life due to other issues or risk factors.
An inguinal hernia can occur in both men and women, and since both have a pelvis, the result is pelvic pain.
Symptoms Of An Inguinal Hernia
Chronic pelvic pain is the most common symptom of an inguinal hernia. Another typical symptom is a bulge on one side of the pelvis (pubic bone) with an aching feeling in the bulge.
You may feel pressure, a dragging feeling, and/or pain and weakness in the pelvic area. Men can also experience pain and swelling around the testicles when the bulge moves down into the scrotum.
Causes Or Risk Factors Of An Inguinal Hernia
As already mentioned, there are circumstances which can aggravate a hernia, like chronic coughing, or lifting heavy objects.
Other risk factors include the following:
- Constipation leading to straining
- Smoking which can cause chronic coughing
- Being pregnant
- Doing strenuous activity
- Increased pressure in the abdomen, including from being overweight
- Having surgery in the area of the pelvis
- Being male (you are 8 times more likely)
- A previous hernia repair
- A family history
If you are a woman, it is clear you shouldn’t jump to conclusions and think your pelvic pain is due to some reproductive problem. It could be a hernia.
If you are a man, pelvic pain is very likely due to a hernia.