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Difference Between Femoral and Inguinal Hernia?

A hernia is a condition that happens when an internal organ pushes against a weak area in the surrounding tissue or muscle. Men are more prone to this medical ailment compared to women. There are four common types of hernia— inguinal hernia, hiatal hernia, umbilical hernia, and femoral hernia.

A femoral hernia can be seen in older women and is less common than an Inguinal hernia, seen mostly in men. About 75 to 80% of people suffer from an inguinal or femoral hernia.

Femoral and Inguinal Hernia

How to identify whether you developed an inguinal or a femoral hernia?

An inguinal hernia happens in the abdomen between the groin and the pubis. The bulge may increase in size when you put pressure on the abdomen while coughing or sneezing. A femoral hernia happens when a portion of your muscle tries to get back through the femoral canal consisting of veins, nerves,

and arteries. A femoral hernia is also known as Femorocele. Here are a few differences that can help you identify the type of hernia you developed.

  • Inguinal hernias are more common in men, whereas women are more prone to Femoral hernias.
  • Inguinal hernias are less common to be strangulated. Femoral hernias are more common to be strangulated.
  • Femoral hernias should always be treated with surgeries, but Inguinal hernias can also be treated without surgery.
  • The sac formed in the inguinal hernia comprises the bowel, while the sac comprises the omentum in femoral hernias.

When you develop a hernia, a three-finger test is done. The inguinal hernia test focuses mainly on the middle finger or the index finger, but the Femoral hernia test focuses only on the ring finger.

The following table summarises the difference between inguinal and femoral hernia:

Inguinal Hernia

Femoral hernia

Common in males

Common in females

Passes through the inguinal canal

Passes through the femoral canal

Neck of the sac is above and medial of pubic tubercle (prominence on the upper border of pubic bone), it mainly comprises of bowel

The neck of the sac lies lateral and below the pubic tubercle, and it contains the omentum (the fold of tissues/peritoneum connecting stomach to other organs)

Less likely to be strangulated

Can easily get strangulated

May not require surgery

Surgery is the only treatment option

What are the risks involved if a hernia is not treated?

In babies, no treatment is required when they develop umbilical hernias as they disappear on their own after a certain age. Other than that, all other types of hernias need to be treated either with medications or with surgery. Therefore, it is very important to consult a Hernia doctor immediately when developing a hernia.

If an inguinal or femoral hernia is left untreated, several complications may occur. For example, a part of the intestine may get stuck, resulting in vomiting, nausea, and pain in the area. Another most common risk involved is strangulation, where a part of the intestine gets trapped in such a way that it stops the blood supply.

How is a hernia diagnosed?

If you find any bulge near your groin area, abdomen, or inner thigh and you doubt it to be a hernia, you must immediately consult a doctor. First, the doctor will perform some physical examinations and ask for your medical history.

After this process, they may continue with the diagnosis by using imaging tests such as CT scan, abdominal ultrasound, and MRI scan. Finally, if the doctor notices some serious problem that cannot be treated with medications, he may refer you to a surgeon to get operated on with the hernia.

Have queries or concern ?

    What are the home remedies to follow when you develop a hernia?

    Home remedies will not help cure your hernia, but they may help you avoid its development.

    Here are a few remedies that you can follow at your home.

    • Eat more fibre-rich food- Fibrous foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help you get relieved from constipation, which can reduce the risk of developing a hernia.
    • Try to prevent acid reflux- Avoid spicy and tomato-based foods as it causes acid reflux that can aggravate a hernia.
    • Change your diet- Try to avoid heavy meals that pressure your abdomen. If you eat such meals, it is better not bend over or lie down. 
    • Stop smoking- Smoking induces cough, and continuous cough can strain your abdomen muscles. Hence increasing the possibility of growing a hernia.


    Hernia repair surgeries are usually painless during the operation. If you get surgery to get rid of a hernia, you may feel pain around that area for a couple of days.

    It is recommended to follow the doctor’s prescription thoroughly to recover quickly. You should never neglect a hernia, as it can turn into a serious problem and cause pain. Remember, surgery is the best treatment option for any kind of hernia.

    To know more about femoral and inguinal hernias, get in touch with our team of experts now!

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