Hernia During Pregnancy
Hernias that Affect Pregnant Women
Pregnancy is a difficult adjustment for all women. Complicated and troublesome the maternal changes pregnancy may bring to women, hernias just further worsen the situation.
Women need information how to handle such situations. This health guideline will give you the information you need during such instances.
Definition of hernia
Hernia is defined as the out pouching of an organ or a part of it against the wall of the cavity that normally holds it causing it to protrude outwardly. It usually is related to weakness of the smooth muscle in that area. This protrusion causes a palpable mass which can obstruct nearby organ structures and cause poor blood flow to that area. Perforation of the tissue can cause internal bleeding. Aside from these complications, this protrusion of tissue outside its normal position can cause extreme discomfort and pain especially to pregnant women.
Here the most common sites of herniation in women during pregnancy:
As the term implies, the hernia is located in the femoral area. Usually near the lower inguinal area near the inner thigh. Depending on the size, femoral hernias can make it more difficult for pregnant women to ambulate and can disrupt their other normal activities. It can be caused by excessive weight lifting or pressure exerted on the site causing muscle weakness.
Umbilical hernias are the most common hernias experienced by pregnant women especially towards the third trimester. Growth of the fetus inside the uterus, can cause extra abdominal pressure in the inside of the abdominal wall pushing the umbilical hernia outwards. This protrusion causes the mother to experience discomfort and pain due to the rubbing of smooth muscle. The mass could be tender to touch.
Ventral hernias are hernias usually associated protrusions thru a healed scar. If the pregnant mother has experienced caesarian section before, had her gallbladder operation or had appendectomy, the increase size of girth brought buy the growing fetus inside can cause herniation through the healed scars.
Treatment of hernia during pregnancy
The usual treatment for hernias during pregnancy is to prevent the size of hernia from getting worse. This is usually caused by excessive exertion. This forced effort can cause the hernia to protrude even more, making it worse. Because of this, women are discouraged to carry excessive weight bearing and to avoid foods that can cause constipation. They are also advised to use binders to keep the hernia from popping out but it is used as a support and not to push it in. Pushing the hernia in can cause pain and obstruction on the inside. Aside from this, addressing relief from pain is also a health intervention. Drugs are certainly avoided however the use of relaxing techniques, cold compress, and distraction can minimize the pain felt. Surgery intervention is delayed as much as possible until the baby is out.