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Hernias are a common medical condition which affects millions of individuals worldwide, with males being particularly susceptible. Understanding the underlying causes of hernias in men is crucial for prevention, early detection, and effective management of this condition.

When a portion of your internal organs protrudes through a tear or weakening in the muscle or tissue that contains them, it is called a hernia. Most hernias include one of your abdominal organs pushing through one of the walls of your abdominal cavity. Hernias can develop gradually as you get older and regular wear and tear on your muscles begins to add up. Injuries, surgeries, and birth abnormalities can also cause hernia in men.

Hernias may appear as a strange bulge that appears and disappears depending on the activity or posture. It might or might not result in pain or discomfort-related symptoms. The majority of hernias require surgical treatment at some point.

The following article explains in detail the causes of hernia in men and its management.

Unveiling The Causes Of Hernia In Males:

Hernias in men are typically caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Hernias in men may develop rapidly or gradually, depending on what causes them.  Following are some common causes of muscle weakness or strain that can lead to a hernia in men:

  • A congenital disorder that develops during pregnancy (development in the womb) and is present from birth: Genetic conditions are the main cause of the development of hernias in men.  Some individuals may inherit a predisposition to weakened abdominal muscles or connective tissue, making them more susceptible to hernias later in life. While genetic factors cannot be modified, awareness of family history can help individuals take preventive measures and seek early medical intervention if needed.
  • Aging: Older males tend to have more hernias. As we age, the muscles and connective tissue in our abdomen naturally weaken, which raises the risk of herniation. A decline in physical activity levels that often accompanies aging may exacerbate muscular weakness and accelerate the development of hernias.
  • Lifting heavy weights or involving in strenuous exercises: Lifting heavy weights can cause hernia in men as it strains the abdominal muscles and increases the chances for hernia. 
  • Respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or chronic cough: Respiratory conditions like allergies, persistent cough and COPD can cause hernias in men as they increase abdominal pressure and increase the chances of developing hernias.
  • Constipation: Constipation causes strain over the abdominal muscles while having a bowel movement. This results in the weakening of abdominal muscles and increases the risk of hernias.

Apart from the above, other causes of hernia in men include:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Strain while urinating
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Smoking 
  • Damage from surgery or an injury
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Ascites
  • Poor nutrition
  • Undescended testes
  • Physical exertion
  • People undergoing peritoneal dialysis

What Are The Risk Factors That Causes Hernia In Males?

The following are the risk factors that have higher chances of causing different types of hernia in males:

  • Incisional hernia: It is a type of hernia occurring as a result of surgery. The risk factors include involvement in strenuous activity, and sudden increase in body weight as they put extra pressure on the tissue that heals which causes the development of hernia in males.
  • Inguinal hernia: Smoking tobacco increases the risk of inguinal hernia. Risk factors include older age, smoking tobacco, people who had a previous history or family history of hernias, chronic constipation and low birth weight.
  • Hiatal hernia: Risk factors include older age and obesity in men.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hernia In Males?

Various factors can cause hernia in males. The following are the common symptoms of hernia in men:

  • Visible swelling in the abdomen or groin
  • Pain or burning sensation at the bulge
  • Heaviness in the belly that occasionally accompanies constipation or blood in the stool
  • Groin or abdominal discomfort during lifting or bending over
  • Acid reflux such as heartburn
  • Pressure or weakness in the groin area
  • Swelling and pain around testicles
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Trouble in swallowing 

A hernia is frequently just a painless swelling that doesn't cause any issues and doesn't require emergency medical care.  But pain and discomfort could be brought on by a hernia, which frequently makes symptoms worse when one stands, strains, or lifts heavy objects. 
Most people finally visit a doctor when they feel swelling or soreness getting worse. A hiatal hernia may have acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn. Sometimes an inguinal hernia causes a portion of the gut to become obstructed or strangulated, necessitating emergency surgery.  Immediate medical attention should be taken if an inguinal hernia produces acute abdominal complaints such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Bulge that can not be pushed back into the abdomen

Treatment Of Hernia In Men:

Although not always immediately, most hernias require surgical treatment. Your healthcare professional can decide to wait and see if your little or small hernia worsens on its own, or perhaps treat it with medication. Practitioners advise fixing hernias as they do have a tendency to get worse with time. Different surgical procedures include:

  • Hernia repair surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery

In an open surgery procedure, the surgeon creates a small incision around the hernia's location and then pushes the protruding tissue back into the abdomen. The wound is subsequently sewn shut, occasionally with surgical mesh used for reinforcement. At last, the incision is sealed. 

A tiny camera and tiny surgical tools are used in laparoscopic surgery to fix the hernia. It is less invasive and necessitates a few small incisions on the surrounding tissue.


Hernias in males can occur from a combination of factors, including weakness in the abdominal wall, increased abdominal pressure, genetic predisposition, age, chronic conditions, heavy lifting, and straining during bowel movements. By understanding these underlying causes, individuals can take proactive steps to reduce their risk of herniation, such as maintaining a healthy weight, practicing proper lifting techniques, managing chronic conditions, and seeking medical attention if they suspect they have a hernia. Early detection and intervention are key to preventing complications associated with hernias and ensuring optimal outcomes for affected individuals.

To get the best treatment for managing hernia symptoms, visit Eternal Hospital. Book your appointment now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: What is the main cause of hernia in men?

A: In most cases, an abdominal organ pushes through one of the abdominal cavity's walls to cause a hernia. As you age and the wear and stress on your muscles from daily use accumulate, hernias can develop slowly. Injuries, surgical procedures, and birth defects can also cause them.

Q: Can stress cause a hernia in men?

A: Although mental stress is not the direct cause of hernias in men, it is connected to them in many ways. When you discover a lump on your body, you could be concerned that it's something else, such as a tumor. Additionally, the pain from your hernia may interfere with your regular activities and emotional well-being.

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