You can't prevent the congenital defect that makes you susceptible to an inguinal hernia. You can, however, reduce strain on your abdominal muscles and tissues. For example:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor about the best exercise and diet plan for you.
  • Emphasize high-fiber foods. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain fiber that can help prevent constipation and straining.
  • Lift heavy objects carefully or avoid heavy lifting. If you must lift something heavy, always bend from your knees — not your waist.
  • Stop smoking. Besides its role in many serious diseases, smoking often causes a chronic cough that can lead to or aggravate an inguinal hernia.
  • Don't rely on a truss. Wearing a supportive garment designed to keep hernias in place (hernia truss) doesn't correct the problem or help prevent complications. Your doctor might recommend a hernia truss for a short time before surgery to help you feel more comfortable, but the truss isn't a replacement for surgery.
June 15, 2016
  1. Brooks DC, et al. Classification, clinical features and diagnosis of inguinal and femoral hernias in adults. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
  2. Ramsook C, et al. Overview of inguinal hernia in children. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
  3. Groin hernia: Inguinal and femoral repair. American College of Surgeons. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
  4. Inguinal hernia. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
  5. Treadwell J, et al. Surgical options for inguinal hernia: Comparative effectiveness review, No. 70. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2012.