Hernia is a protrusion of the contents of the abdomen into a defect in the abdominal wall. This can be congenital when the hernial sac is filled with fluid and may be termed as congenital hydrocele. Acquired hernias are usually common in people with chronic rise in intra-abdominal pressure like repeated coughing (asthmatics), weight lifters, people with constipation, or people with weak tissues.

A hernia if left alone can get obstructed which means the intestinal movement becomes blocked. These patients present often times with vomiting. Strangulation is when the blood supply of the bowel gets cut because the intestine is blocked for a long time. This is a life threatening condition which can result in gangrene (death) of the intestine.

Hernias can be dealt with Laparoscopically as well as the open technique. At the Metromale clinic we use Holmium laser through the laparoscope. This helps in release of adhesions with no blood loss. Pain is virtually nonexistent with patients returning home the same day.

Types of Hernia treated at Metromale Clinic & Fertility Center

Symptoms of Hernia

External Symptoms of Hernia:

  1. A noticeable lump or bulge in groin or abdomen area
  2. A bulge that can be pushed back in or disappears when lying down
  3. An increase in the size of the bulge over time
  4. Swelling, pain, or a bulge in the groin or scrotum in men
  5. Pain or a burning or aching sensation at the site of the bulge
  6. Pain while coughing, bending over, or lifting heavy objects
  7. A heavy feeling in your groin
  8. Weakness or a feeling of pressure in your groin
  9. A sense of fullness or bowel obstruction

Internal Symptoms of Hernia include:

  1. Heartburn (a burning sensation in the upper chest)
  2. An acidic, bitter, or sour taste in the back of your throat
  3. A bloated feeling in your stomach
  4. Frequent belching (burping)
  5. Discomfort or pain in your stomach or esophagus

Can Hernia cause Infertility in Men?

There are few different types of Hernia out of which Inguinal Hernia is the most common and is mostly present in men.

Inguinal Hernia happens when the inguinal canal does not close well after the birth of the male child. This canal facilitates penetration of intestine and/or fatty tissues of the abdomen into groin area. Such a condition is called Inguinal Hernia.


Can Inguinal Hernia cause infertility in men?

Before getting into the details, we must know that, scrotum exists outside the body. The reason is, sperms cannot be healthy under hot temperatures. As scrotum is outside the body, it typically remains colder and helps in generation of healthy sperm that can reproduce.

In cases of Inguinal Hernia, the intestine and/or fatty tissue that entered the scrotum area results in increase of temperature around the testicles.  This destroys or damages the sperms that are produced causing infertility.  In cases when inguinal hernia is detected early and treated, infertility can be avoided.

Inguinal Hernia Causes Infertility in Men
Image Credit - The Surgeons Collective Perth

Can Inguinal Hernia cause erectile dysfunction (impotency) in men?

Erectile Dysfunction is defined as the inability of a man to achieve an erection after which he can perform sexual activity. Typically, the presence of Inguinal Hernia does not cause erectile dysfunction because, erections are achieved by the blood flow through the blood vessels of the penis.

In cases, where Inguinal Hernia is left unattended for years, the scrotum bulges where in the penis gets buried in the swollen scrotum. In such conditions, sex becomes painful and the person may have erections problems too.

If the swelling is left unattended, normal intercourse may become a problem resulting in impotency / erectile dysfunction.

Can surgery to treat Inguinal Hernia cause infertility in men?

In most of the cases, surgery to treat Inguinal Hernia will not cause infertility in men. As said already, infertility will result only when it is left untreated. We at Metromale Clinic & Fertility Center, use advanced laparoscopic methods to treat a hernia. A small hole in the abdomen is all what will be needed to treat the problem. This does not involve touching any blood vessels or nerves in the scrotum, so laparoscopic surgery for inguinal hernia is mostly safe and preferred.  It is mostly a day care procedure.

Inguinal Hernia in Women – Does it cause infertility for women too?

Unlike men, the reproductive parts of woman are different – Ovary, fallopian tubes etc. Inguinal Hernia surrounding these parts in women is very very rare. However, if inguinaal hernia is detected in women, it has to be treated before the couple start planning to have a baby. Reason being, the hernia may strangulate the baby during his/her growth in the womb. It is always advisable to get the hernia treated and then plan conception.

Does any other Hernia cause infertility in men and women?

In short, no. Different Hernia apart from Inguinal Hernia are as follows:

  1. Femoral Hernia
  2. Umblical Hernia
  3. Incisional Hernia
  4. Epigastric Hernia
  5. Hiatal Hernia

None of these effect the reproductive parts in a man (except incisional hernia that is caused due to the incision made to treat Inguinal Hernia), so, they mostly don’t cause infertility in men or women.