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Does hernia cause infertility in men and women. Dr Maran answers questions if hernia and infertility are related.

Does Hernia cause Infertility in Men and Women

Many types of hernia affect both men and women. Data says that men are six times more prone to Inguinal Hernia than women. There are few websites and literature that answer if hernia cause infertility. Does the very presence of inguinal hernia affect male infertility? What about hernia affecting female fertility? Are there elements of truth in it? What about other abdominal hernia types? Let us explore.

Inguinal Hernia in Men

Though many types of hernia are present, Inguinal Hernia is the most common of all and is chiefly present in men. Inguinal hernia happens when the inguinal canal does not close properly after few months of the male child’s birth. Through this canal the intestine or fatty tissues of the abdomen or both can penetrate the groin area. This condition is inguinal hernia.

Can Inguinal Hernia cause infertility in men?

If abdominal materials are present inside the scrotum because of hernia, it causes abdominal temperature to trickle down the testicles. The testicles of the body maintains a slightly lower temperature than the body temperature. This lower temperature is responsible for healthy sperms.

An inguinal hernia present for long years unattended has high probability to alter the temperature of the testicles. A variation in temperature can certainly interfere in the process of sperm production (spertmatogenesis) and can potentially destroy the sperms. However if the inguinal hernia has just happened and is just detected, then the probability of sperm production getting affected is less. A prompt consultation with a hernia surgeon and subsequent medical assistance should effectively address this issue.

Can Inguinal Hernia affect erectile dysfunction in men?

The reference to sexual dysfunction here is the ability of the penis to erect and sustain the erection. The presence of inguinal hernia does not cause any erectile dysfunction in men. This is because inguinal hernia does not compress the blood vessel controlling erection.

If the inguinal hernia is unattended for years, then the scrotum bulges steadily. It later becomes bigger and the penis buries itself inside. Under such extremities, penile erection and subsequent sustenance of erection can have negative implications. Even sex becomes painful under such aggravated conditions.

The swelling if left unattended for years, they can cause mechanical disruption of the normal inter course. So an untreated extreme Inguinal hernia can cause erectile dysfunction in men only because of the disruption it causes.

Can Inguinal Hernia Surgery cause infertility in men?

Inguinal hernia surgery certainly does not cause infertility in men. As a matter of fact, it saves men from infertility (due to neglected hernia). Keep in mind that infertility is always due to many reasons. Genetic defects and imbalance in hormones have nothing to do with inguinal hernia.

Also the surgical techniques nowadays are very advanced. Hernia surgeons use advanced laparoscopic methods in treating hernia. The hernia surgeon does the entire hernia surgery through a small hole in the abdomen. Hence this does not involve touching any blood vessels or nerves passing in and out of the scrotum. Hence inguinal hernia surgeries are pretty safe and they do not cause any infertility.

So anyone with inguinal hernia should undergo hernia surgery done without any doubts in mind. A detailed blog “Does Inguinal Hernia Surgery affect male fertility” can be read here in this link.

Inguinal Hernia in Women

An inguinal hernia holding reproductive organs like Fallopian tubes and ovary is a rare medical event. If it happens then the impact on women’s fertility will be more on the negative side. This condition is extremely rare. Hence women who are trying to conceive but have hernia need not worry about this.

If you are a woman and your diagnosis reveals inguinal hernia, you should meet your hernia surgeon. After consultation, plan to have a baby. The surgeon usually recommends you to undergo hernia surgery before pregnancy. This is because the complications arising out of the presence of hernia when pregnant is on the higher side. The hernia can become bigger and probably strangulate as the baby grows. So it is prudent to undergo your hernia repair surgery, heal it completely and then plan for your baby.

Do other Abdominal Hernia cause Infertility in men and women?

Femoral Hernia and Umbilical Hernia are other two types of hernia that happen in the abdomen. They do not impact the reproductive area and hence do not pose any threat to fertility in men. If the Incisional Hernia is from incisions made elsewhere in the abdomen which does not concern the area near the testicles, they are also pretty safe. However if the incisional hernia has happened due to previous inguinal hernia surgery, people should exercise caution. They should anyways treat as soon as possible. Because the probability discussed for inguinal hernia applies here too and if left untreated, those type of hernia cause infertility. So hernia requires immediate medical treatment.

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