A sports hernia can cause severe abdominal and pelvic pain. If you have female biology, it may be difficult for your healthcare provider to diagnose a hernia. It may take you months or years to get a proper diagnosis.
A hernia occurs when part of the abdominal wall becomes thin, weakened, or separated. This allows your guts to pass.
This article looks at how hernia symptoms differ in biological women and how to diagnose and treat a hernia.
Healthcare providers are used to hernias that cause bulges. In those with female biology, the hernia is usually smaller and deeper in the body. This makes them less conspicuous.
Your hernia can cause chronic, deep pelvic pain. You may also experience a tingling that comes on quickly and persists.
Research shows that these symptoms often lead healthcare providers in the wrong direction. This can lead to misdiagnosis, such as:
- cysts in reproductive organs
Sports Hernia Symptoms
People with female biology tend to have smaller, deeper hernias compared to male biology. They usually don’t have noticeable bumps. Pain can be chronic and severe. Misdiagnosis is common.
Knowing that your symptoms may be unusual can help you make the correct diagnosis more easily. Be as specific as possible when describing your colic. It could be:
A good description means your healthcare provider is more likely to be looking in the right direction. It also helps explain when it started and what made it worse.
Hernias usually worsen with:
- straining to defecate
To check for a hernia, your healthcare provider will feel the hernia when you sit, stand, or cough.
They may order imaging such as:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- endoscopy (a camera on the tube used to look inside the esophagus and stomach)
Be specific when describing your pain and what makes it worse. Hernia diagnosis is usually made with a physical examination and possible imaging.
It usually starts with conservative hernia treatment. These include pain relievers and physical therapy.
Physical therapists often use myofascial release techniques. This relieves the muscle spasms that make hernia pain worse.
If that fails, laparoscopic surgery is an option. Its goal is to repair weak areas of the abdominal wall.
Most people recover quickly from this type of surgery. You may return to normal activities within a week or two.
A hernia is a weak area of the abdominal wall. Weaknesses allow organs to protrude through it. People with female biology usually have smaller, deeper hernias. Not all healthcare providers know this. So misdiagnosis is common.
Be specific about your pain and what makes it worse. Adding a physical exam and possible imaging can get you to the correct diagnosis.
Treatment is usually pain medication, physical therapy, or surgery.
If you’ve been diagnosed with something other than a hernia and treatment isn’t working, talk to your provider about a hernia. The diagnostic process is fairly straightforward, so they can confirm or rule out a hernia without much effort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are pregnancy hernias common?
No, they are not. Three types of hernias are common during pregnancy:
- umbilical hernia
- ventral hernia
- inguinal hernia
Umbilical hernias are the most common. But only about 0.08% of pregnant women get them.
Can an inguinal hernia go away on its own?
no, I can not. Inguinal (inguinal) hernias do not require treatment if they are not causing problems. But if you want it to go away, you need surgery.
What are the signs that a hernia is an emergency?
A strangulated hernia is a medical emergency. They cause tissue death. Symptoms include:
- Hernia does not shrink when lying down
- dark red or purple tissue
Other danger signs include:
- increased pain
- Difficulty defecation
- a racing heart