Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Inguinal hernia

An inguinal hernia is a lump in the groin. It might or might not be painful. Sometimes they need to be repaired by surgery.  

What is an inguinal hernia?

A hernia is where a part of the body protrudes through an abnormal opening in another part of the body, and gets into a space where it doesn’t normally sit.

If you have an

inguinal hernia, there is a weakness in the muscles at the lower part of your abdomen. Some of the contents of your abdomen have pushed through.

The hernia might be large or it might be small. It usually gets bigger when you cough. It might be painful or it might not.

How is an inguinal hernia diagnosed?

Your doctor will talk to you and examine your groin. You will probably be asked to cough. You might be asked to have an ultrasound of the groin.

Treatment of inguinal hernia

Most people will be advised to have surgery as this will reduce the main problem with an inguinal hernia – the hernia might trap the part of the bowel that is poking through the muscles at the lower part of your abdomen.

If you have a hernia that traps the part poking through, it soon becomes painful. If you have an inguinal hernia and you have severe abdominal pain, or if your abdomen is red or tender, go to your nearest emergency department.

If you are overweight, losing weight might help. If you smoke, quitting is important.

Last reviewed: April 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 51 results

Hernia - Inguinal | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Hiatus hernia: diagnosis and treatment -

Hiatus hernia is often diagnosed when doctors investigate reflux with an endoscopy or barium X-ray. The hiatus hernia can show up as a bulge positioned between the oesophagus and your stomach.

Read more on myDr website

Hiatus hernia symptoms

Most hiatus hernias don't cause any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, the most common are heartburn and regurgitation of stomach acid into the mouth.

Read more on myDr website


A hernia is the protrusion of organs, such as intestines, through a weakened section of the abdominal wall.

Read more on Queensland Health website

Hernias | Better Health Channel

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Umbilical care and umbilical hernia

After the cord is cut at birth, your baby will be left with a short stump of cord attached to the umbilicus.(Other words for umbilicus are navel, tummy button orbelly button.)

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Hernia - Umbilical | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Testicular conditions

A number of conditions can affect the testicles (the male sex glands where sperm are made.)

Read more on WA Health website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Testes (testicles)

The testes (or balls)are formed in the abdomen (belly) while the baby is in the womb and they normally descend (move down) into the scrotum towards the end of pregnancy.Sometimes one or both testes do not descend at birth or over the next few months.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

What are undescended testes? | Andrology Australia

Undescended testes (or cryptorchidism) is a condition at birth when one or both of the testes are not lowered into the scrotum, but stay in the abdomen or only

Read more on Andrology Australia website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo