Can pregnancy cause Hernia in women?

A hernia occurs when the tissues of your intestine push through a weak muscle into your abdomen. Do you know that pregnant ladies can also develop hernia? Unfortunately, hernia in women happens due to the increased pressure on the abdomen. The majority of the hernias in such cases are external. They will affect the abdominal wall and can the bulge can be felt under the skin.

Hernia in pregnant ladies generally happens in the groin or abdomen area. These women are more prone to an umbilical hernia that affects the area around the belly button and navel. If your hernia is causing you discomfort and pain, you should consult the doctor to understand the possible repair options. Unless your hernia poses a serious complication, surgical processes are avoided during pregnancy. Also, if the hernia is not having any unpleasant symptoms, you can wait to get it operated post-delivery.

Who are at Risk of Developing Hernia during Pregnancy?

The truth is every pregnant lady is vulnerable to developing hernia due to excess pressure on the abdominal wall. Still, some factors multiply the risk further:

  • Multiple pregnancies like twins, triplets, and similar
  • Being obese or over-weight
  • Older age
  • Any past abdominal surgeries
  • Lifting of heavy objects
  • Any family history of hernia
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic coughing or sneezing

Symptoms of Hernia during pregnancy

It’s not mandatory that you experience prominent symptoms of a hernia during your pregnancy. A hernia is diagnosed only when the doctors perform a physical examination. An imaging test is also conducted to assess the hernia. A hernia can become an emergency case when it turns out to be strangulation. It means that the blood flow to the abdomen is obstructed due to excess tissue bulges. Check these symptoms of strangulated hernia:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Hernia lump turning dark, purple, or red in color
  • Instances of sudden pain that worsened over time
  • Difficulty in passing gas or stool

What are the Treatment Options?

As mentioned earlier, if the hernia is not causing any difficulty or complication, the doctors can wait till delivery. Here are the treatment options for complicated cases:

  • Elective Repair during Pregnancy – The doctor can suggest hernia repair surgery if the complications are expected to grow in the future. Some doctors refer to operate the hernia in the first trimester, while some believe that the second trimester is the best time for surgery. In case the hernia is not supported by mesh, chances are high for its recurrence. Hernia surgeries are quite safe during pregnancy time.
  • C-Section – Do you know that your surgeon can repair your hernia during your C-section procedure? This is the best option for most of the pregnant patients. This can be a successful option in both umbilical hernia and inguinal hernia. Using only the closures significantly increases the risk for hernia recurrence. Therefore, it is recommended to use mesh implants for better support
  • After Delivery – In the case of mild hernia, the doctors may suggest going for repair procedures post-delivery. This surgery can be performed after eight weeks of your delivery. they can also suggest you wait for a year to let your body recover completely.

These are the different types of hernia repair options for pregnant women. Pregnancy is one of the prime reasons for hernia in women. Connect with your doctor to understand the possible treatment options for you.