What are the symptoms of a groin hernia?

Remember a hernia is simply a hole in the abdominal wall – a hole through which something can protrude. The hole itself is not painful. There is sometimes, but not always, some discomfort– but it is not excruciating pain. 

So as a rule of thumb – if when you stand up or cough there is no swelling or a lump to see or feel – it is unlikely that you have a hernia – unlikely but not impossible.

When you lie down the protruding bit usually drops back through the hole and there is often nothing to see or feel – unless the hernia is stuck in the hole in the muscles. If the hernia doesn’t go back when you lie down this is called irreducible, (or sometimes incarcerated). That is why doctors examine you standing and coughing when checking for a hernia.