While hernias are typically thought to be a male problem, their occurrence in women is more common than many think. Often, hernias in women go undiagnosed for years because doctors attribute the pain to a number of problems that can occur because of features unique to the female anatomy. Also, hernias in women are often less externally visible than hernias in men, making them even trickier to diagnose. Luckily, Dr. Shirin Towfigh of Beverly Hills Hernia Center is an expert in diagnosing and treating hernias in both women and men. She is the West Coast’s only specific hernia specialist, making her the area’s chief expert when it comes to diagnosing abdominal hernias in women. While seeing a specialist like Dr. Towfigh is the only surefire way to determine if you or a loved one is suffering from a female abdominal hernia, here is some information about the different types of abdominal hernias women may suffer from.


Umbilical hernias, usually caused by developmental weaknesses at the point of the navel, can occur frequently in adult women. In fact, umbilical hernias are one of the only specific types of hernias that are more common in women than in men. More than twice as many women suffer from umbilical hernias compared to men. Pregnancy is one of the reasons for this. Multiple pregnancies can stretch and weaken the abdominal wall at the site of the belly button, allow a protuberance of organs through the navel. While most of the umbilical hernias seen in children are developmental, they can be completely acquired in adults who suffer from things like like obesity or multiple pregnancies that put extreme stress on the navel.


Hernias that arise as a result of an incision created for the purpose of open surgery are also common in women just like they are in men. This type of female abdominal hernia will not go away on its own so it’s advisable that any woman suffering from an incisional hernia consult Dr. Towfigh about surgical options. Hernia surgery is not necessary to treat every type of hernia; in fact, Dr. Towfigh prides herself on her ability to treat hernia patients with a variety of non-surgical options and behavioral modifications. Yet, incisional hernias in particular will eventually require surgery to place hernia mesh at the site of the incision.

In addition to these abdominal hernias in women, there are also several types of groin hernias that women often suffer from. Femoral hernias, a type of groin hernia that develops in the lower pelvis, is three times more likely to occur in women than men. This is typically attributed to the fact that women have a wider pelvis to assist in childbearing.

Women can also suffer from inguinal groin hernias, but these are much more common in men. Yet, this rarity also means that inguinal hernias are often prone to being misdiagnosed as something else. But, because of her years of experience, Dr. Towfigh will never gloss over any options in the pursuit of a groin or abdominal hernia diagnosis.

Not every doctor has the expertise necessary to diagnose an abdominal hernia in women. That is why it is crucial that, if you or a loved one is experiencing groin or abdominal pain, or has a visible protuberance in any of these areas, you immediately contact Dr. Towfigh at the Beverly Hills Hernia Center to get on the path to being pain-free.