What Causes a Hernia?


Most hernias develop in the abdominal wall, which runs from just below your breastbone down into your groin. This wall is similar to the rubber on a tire: it surrounds and protects your organs the same way a tire surrounds and protects the air-filled tube inside of it.

Hernias develop when a section of the abdominal wall wears down or tears. There are several possible reasons for this:

  • An area of your abdominal wall is weak at birth.
  • An area of your abdominal wall weakens over time due to physical stress, injury, pregnancy, or aging.
  • A weakness or tear develops at the site of a previous surgical incision.

No matter what the cause, it is important to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. Keep in mind, hernias do not get better over time or go away on their own. In fact, they usually grow larger and get worse.

What kind of hernia is it? Find out in types of hernias.

Areas of Weakness

  1. The umbilical area is where the umbilical cord once passed through the abdominal wall.
  2. The inguinal or groin area is around the inguinal canal and is above the inguinal crease.
  3. The femoral area includes the femoral canal below the inguinal crease.
Areas of Weakness

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.