A groin, or inguinal, hernia occurs when an organ within the stomach pushes through the inguinal canal, a region of a man's body that contains the spermatic cord. Though women can also develop a groin hernia, this condition is approximately 10 times more common in men, according to Aurora Health Care. Men who develop symptoms of a groin hernia should receive additional evaluation and care from a medical professional.
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Groin or Scrotal Mass
The primary symptom associated with a groin hernia in men is the appearance of a bulge or mass near the groin. This mass corresponds to the site of the protruding organ from within the stomach. Depending upon the severity or size of the hernia, the mass can extend from the groin region into a man's scrotum, the protective sac that contains the testicles. The groin or scrotal mass is typically soft or squishy to the touch and may be more apparent when a man is standing or performing an activity that places strain on the groin region.
Groin Pain or Pressure
In certain cases, a groin hernia can cause sensations of groin or scrotal pain, tenderness or pressure in affected men, MayoClinic.com explains. Pain or discomfort can be exacerbated by certain physical movements such as lifting an object off the ground or coughing. Additionally, a man's groin or scrotal region can feel unusually heavy or weighted due to the presence of a groin hernia.
Typically, hernias can be reduced, which means that a doctor can press the hernia back into the abdominal cavity to resolve symptoms. In certain instances, a groin hernia can become stuck within the inguinal canal, preventing it from being reduced by a doctor. This type of groin hernia is called an incarcerated groin hernia and requires prompt medical attention. Severe symptoms of an incarcerated groin hernia include nausea, vomiting, groin pain or constipation, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center warns. In the absence of treatment, men with an incarcerated groin hernia can go on to develop a strangulated groin hernia, a life-threatening condition that occurs when blood flow to the trapped hernia is cut off.