Difference Between Femoral and Inguinal Hernia

Difference Between Femoral and Inguinal Hernia

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Femoral and inguinal hernia are groin hernia as they appear in the groin area of the body, especially in the inner thigh region.

The major difference between femoral and inguinal hernia is that the femoral hernia protrudes through the femoral canal and the inguinal hernia through the inguinal canal in the groin.

Both hernias occur due to the contents in the abdomen, primarily the omentum and parts of the bowels, penetrating through a weak spot in the abdominal wall to the groin area.

Difference Between Femoral and Inguinal Hernia

A hernia that protrudes through the femoral canal in the groin.A hernia that protrudes through the inguinal canal in the groin.
Occurs mostly in females.Occurs mostly in males.
Contents of the hernia push through the weak spot in the abdominal muscle into the femoral canal.Contents of the hernia push through the weak spot in the abdominal muscle into the inguinal canal.
Have a higher risk of strangulation.The risk of strangulation is lesser than a femoral hernia.
Identified through a soft swelling below the inguinal ligament.Identified through a bulge in the groin. Causes enlarged scrotum in men.
Most femoral hernias are asymptomatic.Causes considerable discomfort.
Requires surgery most of the time as it is highly prone to incarceration.Bearable without surgery if discomfort does not prolong.
Caused by pregnancy, weight gain, muscle strain, etc.Is congenital in children. Caused by increasing age, chronic cough, constipation, heavy lifting, obesity, etc.
The hernia sac consists of the omentum mostly.The hernia sac consists of bowel parts.

Symptoms of Femoral and Inguinal Hernia

The symptoms of both femoral and inguinal hernia are more or less the same. They are either reducible or irreducible also.

Reducible hernias can be pushed back through the abdominal wall whereas irreducible hernias cannot be. Irreducible hernias have higher risks of being obstructed or strangulated.

A femoral hernia becomes visible as a bulge during coughing or straining. It is asymptomatic most of the time but can turn painful if it becomes obstructed or strangulated.

An inguinal hernia appears as a bulge on the side of the pubic bone and causes a burning sensation or pain in the groin region. It can cause pain and swelling around the testicle region for men.

An inguinal hernia can also descend through the scrotum and make it enlarged. It also causes huge pain while standing for a long time.

Causes of Femoral and Inguinal Hernia

Femoral and inguinal hernia have similar reasons for occurrence. Only that women are more prone to femoral hernia and men are more prone to inguinal hernia.

Causes of Femoral Hernia

Femoral hernias are caused by:

  • Obesity
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Chronic constipation
  • Heavy lifting
  • Strenuous activities or exercises

Causes of Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernias are caused by:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Strain of the abdominal muscles
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic coughing

Treatment for Femoral and Inguinal Hernia

Femoral and inguinal hernia can be operated upon if they cause much pain and discomfort. Also, to prevent obstruction and strangulation it is wiser to operate on the hernia in due time.

There are advanced surgical methods available to repair these hernias. Some include:

Treatments for Femoral Hernia

Smaller hernias may not require surgical repair. However, large and discomforting femoral hernia can be operated on through either open or laparoscopic surgery based on the severity of the hernia and the urgency to repair it.

Treatments for Femoral Hernia

Inguinal hernia can be repaired through open and laparoscopic surgeries. There are three kinds of hernia repair:

  • Herniotomy: Hernial sac is removed.
  • Herniorrhaphy: Hernial sac is removed alongside repairing the posterior wall of the inguinal canal.
  • Hernioplasty: a synthetic mesh is used to reinforce the posterior wall of the inguinal canal.

Recovery Time for Femoral and Inguinal Hernia

You can recover from femoral and inguinal hernia repair within a few weeks. The advanced surgical procedures have reduced recovery time and guarantee speedier recovery with minimal infection and pain

You may have to avoid driving until you are weaned off painkillers. You can resume work but stay away from lifting heavy weights.


Femoral and inguinal hernias can be treated easily with the latest surgical procedures available today. So it is not to be worried about.

Incorporate a healthy lifestyle by reducing weight that causes straining of the hernia, adopting a healthy diet, and so on.

Follow the advice of the hernia specialist and have a healthy and speedy recovery.

To clear your queries on femoral and inguinal hernias contact a hernia specialist.


1) How can you tell the difference between an inguinal and a femoral hernia?

Both inguinal and femoral hernia appear in the groin region with contents of the abdomen forming a bulge of the hernia sac. The femoral hernia appears a bit lower than the inguinal hernia region. The inguinal hernia passes through the inguinal canal and the femoral hernia through the femoral canal.

2) Is femoral the same as inguinal hernia?

No, the femoral hernia penetrates through the femoral canal whereas the inguinal hernia passes through the inguinal canal.

3) Is a femoral hernia a type of inguinal hernia?

No, a femoral hernia is not a type of inguinal hernia. It is a groin hernia that occurs lower to the inguinal hernia region and through the femoral canal.

Dr. K. Amilthan MBBS., MS., FMAS., FALS.

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