The inguinal canal is a natural passage that in men allows the descent of the testicles from the abdominal wall into the scrotum. After birth, this canal should close itself off from the intestine.
An inguinal hernia arises mainly when the inguinal canal does not close completely after birth, allowing a portion of the intestine to descend into the groin area and causing a hernia.
There are two types of inguinal hernias: direct and indirect.
A direct inguinal hernia occurs when a part of the intestine penetrates a weakness in the abdominal muscles near the groin. This type of hernia is more common in adult men.
Indirect inguinal hernia usually occurs in children, but with higher incidence in adulthood due to muscular strain.