When a woman suffers a hernia, it is like one in a man, as some portion of the body basically pushes through a neighbouring organ or muscle. For most persons, this protrusion occurs in either the stomach or the intestines, causing what is known as a hiatal hernia or an inguinal hernia, respectively. With both types of hernia, a woman may begin to show signs and symptoms of the condition, most of which will relate to the location of the protrusion.
Absence of Symptoms
For many women, a hernia causes no signs or symptoms and is only discovered by accident during a routine medical exam. In this situation, the hernia is small and causing no disruption to the function of the organs. It isn't until the hernia is much larger that real problems manifest in a woman (as well as a man).
Of all the symptoms involving a hernia, one concerning the stomach, heartburn, is probably the most common. When a large enough portion of the stomach protrudes into the diaphragm, it can force the hiatus (the small opening in the diaphragm that allows the oesophagus to pass through) to remain partially open, allowing a backflow of stomach acids to occur in the oesophagus. As these acids invade the oesophagus, a person often experiences a burning sensation in the chest as well as an acidic taste in the mouth that is common in heartburn.
Often accompanying the heartburn is nausea. Since the protrusion is affecting digestion, the stomach can become upset and you may become nauseated. However, this nausea is normally associated with the ingestion of food and may be due to some sort of obstruction created by the protrusion. In this situation, the woman could also begin to vomit and suffer from a mild fever between 37.2 to 38.3 degrees C.
It isn't uncommon for a woman to suffer some level of pain with a hernia. This pain is usually isolated to the area of the protrusion. With a hiatal hernia, the pain manifests within the chest and is caused by the pressure the protrusion is placing on the area. With an inguinal hernia, the pain is typically located in the groin but may spread up into the abdomen and usually feels as if it is pulling down on the person.
Sometimes a hernia results in a visible protrusion. For the most part, a woman will see and feel this protrusion within the groin, and it often appears like a lump near the pelvic bone. In some, this lump remains flesh coloured. In others, it can become red to blue, often meaning an intestinal obstruction has formed.