Usually a swelling which come on standing /straining or exercise but can usually be pushed back only for it to reappear later on exertion or coughing. Some people may notice a discomfort or pain at the hernia site. Rarely the bowel may get stuck in an hernia and the patient may present with severe abdominal pain and vomiting (this is usually a surgical emergency).
A hernia usually presents as a bulge which increases on coughing / straining. Some are painful but not always and most can be pushed back in again. With a small hernia there may be pain but not an obvious bulge. Occasionally a hernia may ‘strangulate’ . This means that the contents swell and the hernia cannot be pushed back in. This is very painful and often requires urgent surgery.
Sometimes hernias cause no symptoms, but frequently you will see a bulge or swelling in the groin or around the tummy button which is worse towards the end of the day. Many people will complain of discomfort or a dragging sensation but acute pain, although an important symptom, is rare.