ModeratorMarch 5, 2014 at 5:03 am
Trying to Get A Hernia Diagnosis
Aha! You are now addressing one of my life goals: raising awareness of hernias among women.
My gut feeling is you are absolutely right. Though, nationally, 7 male groin hernias are repaired for every 1 female hernia, my impression is that many more women have groin hernias than are being diagnosed and treated. It reminds me of the situation of heart disease among women.
In my experience, inguinal hernias are under diagnosed among women because:
1. Many doctors don’t believe women can get inguinal hernias
2. Hernias tend to be smaller in women so they are not easy to find on examination (ie, hidden hernias)
3. Hernia symptoms are different among women than men. Women get pain with their menses, it may radiate to their back or into their vagina or down their leg.
4. Many cannot imagine that a small hernia can cause so much pain.
5. Women’s pelvic anatomy is complicated by presence of ovaries, uterus, possible endometriosis.
6. There is virtually no prospective clinical trial research done on inguinal hernias that includes women.
I am working hard to publish my results and educate the world about women and the concept of hidden hernias. Just this past Monday, I turned in another research publication sharing the specific questions and exam findings that can diagnose a hidden hernia, mostly seen among women. For the first time in its history, with my prodding, the American Hernia Society began a panel discussion on hernias among women last year.
I really do appreciate your posts on this forum, too, as many patients and doctors will also be able to read and learn from it.