Why Are Men More Likely To Develop A Hernia?

Why are men more likely to develop a hernia? A man’s physical anatomy is but one of the reasons why men have a 25% chance of developing a hernia during their lifetime vs only 2% of women. Let’s explain further.

An Inguinal Hernia

A hernia happens when an organ or tissue finds a weak spot in our muscles and pushes through the opening forming a visible lump. The most common area for a hernia is in the groin or the inguinal canal. This is called an inguinal hernia, and in fact, 9 of 10 hernias are inguinal.

Hernias can only be treated by surgical repair. They don’t go away on their own. The repair includes moving the hernia or organ back into place, and then closing and repairing the weak spot or opening.

old man holding stomach in pain

Reasons Why Men Are More Likely To Develop A Hernia

The first reason is due to their reproductive anatomy. Men have a hole or gaps in their groin muscles, so blood is able to move to their testicles. This makes men more vulnerable to inguinal hernias than women.

Reason two is due to age. As a man gets older, his abdominal wall weakens in that same area increasing the risk for developing a hernia. Many hernias occur from straining to lift or move heavy objects.

By comparison, women require a very strong lower abdomen area in order to keep the uterus in place to carry children.

General Risks For A Hernia Regardless Of Gender

Don’t be fooled into thinking women cannot get hernias. Unfortunately, they seem to be deeper than men and therefore harder to detect.

There are many risk factors for developing a hernia including the following:

  • Having a family history
  • Being obese and the accumulation of fat tissue
  • Heavy lifting
  • Constipation which requires straining to move your bowels
  • Having a chronic cough like those who smoke, have bronchitis, or asthma

It is imperative to see a specialist if you think you have developed a hernia. Waiting too long to repair it can cause some serious complications.

If you suspect you may have an inguinal hernia, contact Weirton Medical Center at  (304) 797-6DOC for diagnosis.

Category: Hernia, Men's Health
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