A 3-month-old female with an inguinal mass

J Emerg Med. 2011 Jan;40(1):33-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2009.05.007. Epub 2009 Jul 9.


Background: Inguinal masses are a common finding among infants. The differential diagnosis of these masses in infants is broad, with inguinal hernia being the most common diagnosis in both males and females. However, the evaluation and management of males vs. females with inguinal masses is somewhat different due to the greater potential for gonad involvement in males.

Objectives: The pathophysiology and management of inguinal hernias is discussed with a specific focus on inguinal hernias in females.

Case report: We present a case of a 3-month-old girl with an inguinal hernia and a mass, found to be an incarcerated ovary.

Conclusions: Inguinal masses in infancy are common, with inguinal hernia being the most common cause by far. A female infant with suspected inguinal hernia should be thoroughly evaluated to determine whether ovarian content is present.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hernia, Inguinal / diagnosis*
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Ovarian Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Diseases / surgery