Femoral hernias are rare. They are more common in women who have been pregnant or are obese but they can also occur in men. A femoral hernia develops when fat or part of your intestine (also called the bowel) pushes through a weak spot in the muscles or tissue and enters the femoral canal. The femoral canal is a passageway that carries large blood vessels in and out of your leg.
This type of hernia will appear as a small bulge at the groin crease just above your thigh and may be misdiagnosed as an inguinal hernia. As it gets larger, it will move down into your leg. If you have a femoral hernia, there is a greater (but still small) risk that part of your intestine may get trapped. This is called an “incarcerated hernia” and can lead to a life-threatening emergency known as a strangulated hernia. The risk of strangulation is higher in femoral hernias.
Learn to recognize the symptoms of a trapped hernia.