The most common sign of a hernia is a soft swelling or bulge under your skin. The type of hernia you
have will determine where the bulge appears on your body. Some hernias can only be seen when you
stand up, and may disappear completely when you lie down. Others may only be visible when you strain
your muscles by coughing, sneezing, laughing, bending or lifting.
When an organ, such as your intestine (bowel), pushes through the abdominal wall, there is a small
risk it could become trapped. This is known as an incarcerated hernia. If your hernia is trapped
outside of the abdominal wall, and you can’t push it back into your abdomen, and it may feel hard
and be very painful. In such a situation, one may require immediate medical attention.