What are the Symptoms of Hernia during Pregnany

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 24, 2012
Quick Bites

  • Abdominal pressure by the developing foetus could cause hernia.
  • In hernia, an internal organ protrudes externally.
  • An obvious symptom is a bulge around the abdomen.
  • Pregnant women might also find it difficult to move.

What we call hernia is a medical condition in which an internal organ protrudes externally through an opening in a muscle. The most common locations for hernia to grow are the abdomen and the groin area.

symptoms of hernia during pregnancy

Hernia is a complication in which fatty tissues stick out of abdomen, creating a bulged appearance. Among the reasons that cause hernia includes abdominal pressure caused by developing foetus. It is not always accompanied by pain but you need to get treatment as they seldom go away on their own. The treatment can follow after pregnancy but you do need to be prepared for it by recognising its symptoms that develop during pregnancy.



Women with umbilical hernia are likely to have a painful bulge that does not go away on its own. It is usually caused by a small defect in the abdominal wall of women, making it weak enough to allow it to bulge out through the umbilical area. It is a hereditary type of hernia which causes problems in women only after they become pregnant. The main cause behind it is weight gain due to pregnancy as this increases the strain of already burdened abdominal wall. Surgery is not performed right after detection in most cases as that is important to ensure the safety of the expecting mother and baby.

Vulnerable Previous Surgical Site

Women who have undergone abdominal surgery develop a vulnerable site which is prone to be affected by ventral hernia. This type of hernia can also affect women who are obese during pregnancy. It usually occurs due to stretching of the scar tissue from a previous surgery, making the abdominal wall weak and leading to a bulgearound the pregnant woman’s abdomen. Pregnant women with ventral hernia can feel pain and sensitivity in a previous surgical site even when they run, cough, or lift a heavy object. Ventral hernia is noticed more when the woman is lying down and the least when she is standing. The bulge tends to become bigger with the pregnancy's progress, but its treamtent can only be done post delivery.

Problems in Mobility

Pregnant women who have femoral hernia may not find it easy to move around as their pregnancy progresses. This type of hernia shows up as a bulge on the upper thighs i.e. around the area beneath the groin, close to femoral artery and several other veins. Femoral hernias disturb a pregnant woman’s daily schedule by restricting her ability to move around. The extent of discomfort depends on size of the hernia. It can be triggered when a pregnant woman attempts to lift heavy objects. A femoral hernia is taken to be the most problematic one as it can prevent blood supply to the intestine as well as the organs close to it, leading to gangrene, a bacterial infection that may even prove fatal.

When Do you Develop Hernia

You are at the risk of developing hernia as a result of weakness in the wall of a muscle or a muscle that never fully developed. The following are some hernia triggers:

  • heavy lifting
  • presence of fluid in the abdomen
  • increased pressure in the abdomen
  • taking strain during bowel movements or urination
  • excess of weight
  • chronic sneezing ot coughing. 

There is little that can be done to prevent hernia; you cannot really put a lid on sneezing or coughing if it happens to get to you. You must seek medical help for it.

Read more articles on Pregnancy Problems.



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