You can't prevent the congenital defect that makes you susceptible to an inguinal hernia. You can, however, reduce strain on your abdominal muscles and tissues. For example:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor about the best exercise and diet plan for you.
- Emphasize high-fiber foods. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain fiber that can help prevent constipation and straining.
- Lift heavy objects carefully or avoid heavy lifting. If you must lift something heavy, always bend from your knees — not your waist.
- Stop smoking. Besides its role in many serious diseases, smoking often causes a chronic cough that can lead to or aggravate an inguinal hernia.
- Don't rely on a truss. Wearing a supportive garment designed to keep hernias in place (hernia truss) doesn't correct the problem or help prevent complications. Your doctor might recommend a hernia truss for a short time before surgery to help you feel more comfortable, but the truss isn't a replacement for surgery.
Aug. 11, 2017
- Brooks DC, et al. Classification, clinical features and diagnosis of inguinal and femoral hernias in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
- Ramsook C, et al. Overview of inguinal hernia in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
- Groin hernia: Inguinal and femoral repair. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/~/media/files/education/patient%20ed/hernrep.ashx. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
- Inguinal hernia. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/inguinal-hernia/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
- Treadwell J, et al. Surgical options for inguinal hernia: Comparative effectiveness review, No. 70. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK100633/.