If you know the signs and symptoms of a hernia , you can take action to treat it. There are many types of hernias, and not everyone experiences the same symptoms. The symptoms of a hernia can appear gradually or suddenly and can cause varying degrees of discomfort or pain.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Weakness, pressure, burning, or pain in the abdomen, groin , or scrotum
  • A bulge or lump in the abdomen, groin, or scrotum that is easier to see when you cough and disappears when you lie down
  • Pain when straining, lifting, or coughing
  • The feeling that something has ruptured

These symptoms may be mild at first, but they progressively worsen and cause increasing discomfort. The pain may be present in the directly affected area but may also radiate to the hip, back, leg, or even the genitalia. This discomfort is called referred pain and can be quite severe at times. The pain and discomfort usually worsens with duration of activity and then may be partially or completely relieved with rest.

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor. Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis and discuss your treatment options. Even mild groin pain or an unexplained bump or swelling that lasts more than a week is worth talking to your doctor about. Your doctor will evaluate your situation with a medical history and physical exam to determine how and when your hernia needs to be treated. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment is the best way to avoid serious complications.