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Inguinal Hernia

Causes of Inguinal Hernias

The most common of all types of hernias, inguinal hernias are usually caused by heavy lifting which strains the groin muscles, obesity or straining during bowel movements. Pregnancy can also cause inguinal hernias.


Inguinal hernias are not uncommon in newborns. As is the case, they occur more often in males than females. While in the womb, a male fetus’ testicles develop in the abdomen. Once developed, the testicles move through the inguinal canal to reach the scrotum. Soon after birth, that canal closes to keep testicles from returning to the abdomen. Shortly after birth, the canal should close up, but doesn’t always. When it doesn’t close, a loop of bowel can move up into the unclosed canal, causing the hernia. Females also have inguinal canals, so newborn girls can have this condition as well.