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Hernia in women usually occurs in the abdominal cavity or thigh, not in the groin as is generally experienced by men. Based on its location, hernias in women can be divided into several types with different symptoms
Hernia occurs due to weakening of muscle tissue or connective tissue that is in charge of supporting the body's organs. This makes the organs of the body not supported properly, so they can move to an inappropriate position. Hernias will usually appear as bulges or lumps in the body.
In the early stages, hernias are often invisible and asymptomatic. This condition is usually only felt or realized by the sufferer when it looks like a large lump or is accompanied by certain complaints.
Lumps due to hernias can appear and go away on their own, but can also reappear when you cough or strain. Each type of hernia in women or men can also occur in different locations of the body, so they can cause different symptoms.
Different Types of Hernias in Women
The following are four types of hernias that can occur in women:
1. Femoral hernia
This condition occurs when fatty tissue or intestines enter the groin or upper thigh. A femoral hernia will usually appear as a lump in that area. Pregnant women and women who are overweight or obese are more at risk for this type of hernia.
Femoral hernias are difficult to see when they are small and often cause no symptoms. However, when the size is enlarged, the sufferer can feel symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, and constipation.
2. Hernia on hiatus
A hiatal hernia is a type of hernia that occurs when an organ in the abdominal cavity enters the chest cavity. This type of hernia usually occurs when there is a gap in the diaphragm muscle, which is the muscle that separates the abdominal and chest cavities.
Hyatal hernia is more at risk for women who are obese or over 50 years old.
Just like femoral hernias, hiatal hernias also generally do not cause symptoms, especially when they are small. After the bulge enlarges, the sufferer will experience several symptoms, such as pain in the chest and stomach, frequent belching, increased stomach acid, and difficulty swallowing.
In severe cases, a hiatal hernia in women can cause vomiting of blood or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
3. Umbilical hernia
Umbilical hernias occur when fatty tissue or intestines move into the front abdominal cavity near the navel. This type of hernia will appear in the form of a bulge or lump around the navel. Umbilical hernias are more common in pregnant women, women who are obese, or have been through several births.
4. Indirect inguinal hernia
Inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia. The most common type of inguinal hernia is an indirect inguinal hernia. Although more experienced by men, indirect inguinal hernia can also be experienced by women.
An indirect inguinal hernia occurs in the abdomen near the groin, due to an abnormality in the internal inguinal ring. This ring is shaped like a valve that serves to separate the abdominal cavity and groin.
This type of hernia can cause a painful bulge, especially when coughing, bending, or lifting heavy objects.
Indirect inguinal hernia is more common in pregnant women, women who often lift heavy objects, prolonged coughing or sneezing, smoking habits, or malnutrition.
Hernia Examination in Women
When you see a lump in your belly button, thigh, or groin, you need to see a doctor. To determine whether the lump is caused by a hernia or not, the doctor will perform a physical examination and supporting examinations, such as:
This examination is done to see the condition of the inside of the body. There are several types of radiological examinations that can be performed to diagnose hernias in women, such as ultrasound, X-rays, or CT scans.
Women who have a hiatal hernia can sometimes experience severe symptoms, such as vomiting blood, due to bleeding in the digestive system. This condition can cause the sufferer to lack blood or anemia.
Therefore, the doctor will perform a blood test to monitor the condition of the woman who has a hernia.
Through an endoscope, the doctor will examine the inside of the esophagus, stomach and intestines. This examination can be done to monitor the condition of the gastrointestinal tract and detect whether there are hernias or other abnormalities, such as wounds, infections, or bleeding.
In this test, a special instrument in the form of a tube or catheter will be inserted through the nose, then down the esophagus and ends in the stomach. This test aims to measure pressure and movement in the esophagus.
Gastrographin or barium X-ray
Gastrographin or barium X-ray is a special X-ray technique that can be done to monitor the condition of the digestive tract.
Before the X-ray is taken, you will be asked to drink a barium solution and a liquid containing gastrographin. Although it is quite safe to do, this test can sometimes cause side effects in the form of allergic reactions or constipation.
To reduce the risk of hernia in women, there are several ways that can be done, such as maintaining an ideal body weight, adequate intake of fiber and water, exercising regularly, and avoiding lifting objects that are too heavy.
It is important to diagnose hernias in women early, so that treatment can be carried out immediately before complications occur. If treated too late, hernias can cause organ damage and other dangerous complications, such as bleeding or damage to the digestive tract.
Therefore, immediately consult a doctor if you feel a bulge in the area of the upper thigh, navel, or groin. The doctor will perform an examination to determine whether the bulge is a hernia or other medical condition.