What are the Signs and Symptoms?


Most people with hernias have a common set of signs and symptoms. The questions below can help you determine if you have a hernia. They are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Only a physician or other qualified health provider can diagnose and treat a hernia.

Is there a bulge under the skin on your abdomen or in your groin area?

  • A bulge is the most typical sign of a hernia.

If you have a bulge under your skin, does it ever disappear?

  • If the bulge flattens out when you lay down or press on it, the hernia probably needs prompt but not emergency, medical attention.
  • If the bulge does not flatten out when you lay down or press on it, it may be trapped or strangulated. The hernia requires immediate medical attention.

Do you have discomfort or pain when you lift, cough, sneeze, strain, or perform physical activities?

  • Hernias can cause discomfort or pain during your daily activities, especially when you exert yourself.
  • Hernias can cause discomfort or pain during urination or bowel movements.
  • Hernias can cause a feeling of weakness or pressure in the groin area.
  • Hernia pain may be sharp and sudden or dull and achy. It can also be a combination of both.

Does your discomfort or pain get worse toward the end of the day?

  • Hernia pain typically becomes more intense as the day goes on.
  • Hernia pain can also worsen after standing for long periods of time.

Why do hernias develop? See What causes a hernia.

This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Only a physician or other qualified health provider can diagnose and treat a hernia.