Much like an inguinal hernia, a femoral hernia develops in the groin area although it occurs somewhat lower – at or near where the leg meets torso. In many cases, telling the difference between the these two hernia types is quite difficult by doctors with little experience clinically evaluating hernias.
These account for an estimated 15-20% of all hernia cases and are more commonly seen in women – in fact women are five times more likely to suffer from this type of hernia than men. This happens when part of your intestine or bowel protrudes through the femoral canal (main blood vessels in the legs) and bulges out into the front thigh.
Symptoms Of A Femoral Hernia
If you find a painful bulge on or around the crease of your leg, next to the pubic area, that is the primary symptom of a femoral hernia. This is very close to where inguinal hernias occur, however either way it’s likely you could have a hernia of some sort. If you’re a women, it’s even more likely to be femoral (men are more likely to have an inguinal hernia – again because of anatomic structure). Worse yet, in some cases both kinds of hernias can occur at the same time.
Location Of Femoral Hernias
When it comes to this condition, it’s all about location. Femoral hernias occur in an anatomically shaped triangular gap found between three parts of the body. This includes the inguinal ligament, which is essentially your leg crease; the underside of the pubic bone; and the femoral vein. This gap, coincidentally, is larger in females because of the angle and shape of the a woman’s pelvis – which is attributed to why they’re more commonly found in woman.
Causes Of A Femoral Hernia
Risk factors include obesity, constipation (straining going to the bathroom), lifting excessive weight and pregnancy. Obviously anything that increases the pressure on the abdomen will increase risk. Having a strong, healthy core and being in overall good help will help reduce the chances of getting a hernia.
Early diagnosis is important, as femoral hernias have a much higher likelihood of developing incarceration or strangulation. It’s strongly advised to see your local general practitioner or specialist if you think you might have this – before potential complications occur.