Answers to Common General Surgery Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about general surgery.

Can symptoms of a hernia be mistaken for another health issue, particularly in women?

Dr. de Caestecker discusses hernia symptoms and what they might be mistaken for. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


Because hernias are more common in men than in women, they can sometimes be an overlooked source of pain for women, according to the Society of Laparoendoscopic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (SLS).

Hernias can go misdiagnosed in women, and can instead be thought to be ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, or other abdominal issues, according to the SLS.

Women’s hernias can be small and internal. They might not be a bulge that can be felt in an exam or be visible outside the body, according to the SLS.

If a woman is experiencing ongoing abdominal or groin pain – especially while bending, lifting, coughing, laughing, walking stairs, during sexual intercourse, or during her menstrual period – but her medical care team cannot find the source of the problem, a hidden hernia could be the issue, according to the SLS.

To learn more about hernia symptoms being mistaken for other issues in women, talk with your doctor.

Learn more:

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Source: James deCaestecker, DO, FACS, Gem City Surgical Associates; Daniel Taylor, MD, FACS, Miami County Surgeons; L. Stewart Lowry, MD, FACS, Miami County Surgeons; Luan Tran, MD, Miami Valley Surgery Associates; Steven Sutherin, MD, FACS, Miami Valley Surgery Associates

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