Inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia. It occurs when a portion of the intestines protrudes through the inguinal canal. General symptoms include pain, discomfort, and possibly a lump near the groin. These symptoms tend to get worse during the day, while coughing, during exercise, or while bearing down (for example, during a bowel movement). Symptoms may improve when lying down. Surgery is not always necessary, but the situation can become a medical emergency if the protruding organ gets cut off from its blood supply.