PregnancyUmbilical hernia in pregnancy

Umbilical hernia in pregnancy

Umbilical hernia is very common during pregnancy. Knowing what causes it, what symptoms it produces and its diagnosis will help you calm down if you also have it.

The hernias consist of a formed bag by the lining of the abdominal cavity, which passes through a whole or weak area in the strong layer of the abdominal wall surrounding the muscle, which is medically known as fascia.

Depending on their location we can distinguish different types of hernias: femoral, hiatal, inguinal, umbilical and surgical or eventration. However, in the case of pregnant women the most common is the umbilical hernia, but we should not talk about the fact that pregnancy is a cause of the appearance of the hernia, but that it actually exists from birth, but it is in this period when It manifests itself or is diagnosed for the first time (especially during the second trimester, as a consequence of the growth of the uterus).

It is, in fact, a fairly frequent complication that appears during pregnancy, although the most common is that it does not cause problems during pregnancy or during childbirth.  Furthermore, strangulation of an umbilical hernia during pregnancy is considered “rare” by many medical specialists.

What is an umbilical hernia?

From a medical point of view we can define a hernia as the exit to the outside of an organ covered by the peritoneum, which basically consists of a membrane that covers the different organs of our abdomen.

Usually it tends to be a part of the small intestine, or for example of the different layers that surround it, either through a hole or a defect that occurs in the abdominal wall that we find just below the skin.

The most common is the umbilical hernia, and as its name indicates, it is the one that appears in or around the navel.

It can be of two types depending on its etiology or origin: the primary umbilical hernia, which is one that is present from the moment of birth, or the incisional umbilical hernia that arises as a cause of previous surgical interventions in the area, which later finds a place to exit or protrude to the outside after making various continuous efforts in the abdominal area.

Why does it appear in pregnancy?

The causes of umbilical hernia in pregnancy are practically the same as any other umbilical hernia that appears later in life: it occurs as a consequence of an anatomical defect of the navel.

That is, as we indicated previously, it is not a hernia that appears as a consequence of the growth of the abdomen or the weight of the fetus. In fact, the most common is that it is already present from birth, but ultimately it is either diagnosed or becomes more latent in this period.

It is therefore a condition that already exists before pregnancy, but does not actually tend to manifest itself until the moment when the woman becomes pregnant.

Symptoms of umbilical hernia in pregnancy

Umbilical hernias are generally asymptomatic, that is, in most cases they do not produce symptoms. But this does not mean that on certain occasions they do not appear.

In fact, it is possible to distinguish or appreciate an increase in the volume of the navel, or the emergence of an umbilical protrusion at the time of abdominal efforts.

What is the prognosis of umbilical hernia in pregnancy?

In general, the prognosis is actually very good, not affecting the normal evolution of pregnancy and usually does not require surgical treatment. What’s more, it does not pose risks to the fetus.

In fact, during pregnancy it is important to avoid surgery, as it involves risks and a high recurrence of the hernia due to the continuous stretching of the abdominal wall. Hence, in case of surgical treatment, it is advised only after delivery.

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