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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What does a sharp stabbing pain near the navel while coughing or sneezing?

Answered by
Dr. T Chandrakant

General Surgeon

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 16547 Questions

Posted on 2 days ago in Women's Health
Question: I’m a 49 yr old woman. Had 2 c-sections 20/13 yrs ago. Never been ill. Now have very sharp pain when bending over or if I cough or sneeze. But not all the time. Happens 4-6 times a day. Pain lasts for just a second but it’s like a sharp stabbing pain. It’s just to the left of naval as I look down - right side when looking at me. Any ideas?
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Can be a hernia.

Detailed Answer:


Thanks for your query, albeit sharp and specific.

Noted the history and understood the concerns.

The commonest causes I can think of after reading through your history are:
Paraumbilical hernia.
Hernia through rectus defect.

When you cough or sneeze the sudden increase in intra-abdominal pressure can push through the contents like fat through the hernia to cause the typical pain that you have explained.
Please do a self examination and let me know the reports:
Put a finger on the spot of pain and cough hard and see if anything is bulging through and if yes whether this is reducible on putting pressure or not.

Also note any other findings that you can feel and let me know please.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. T Chandrakant 16 minutes later
Thank you doctor. I cant actually feel anything bulging as such when I cough. But it didn’t hurt that time. I actually just sneezed and felt the sharp pain again. The pain feels like it’s more near the skin surface than actually deeper within me if that helps? This has been going on since Friday when I first noticed it. It’s odd as wearing trousers with a waistband hurts when I bend down to say get something from the floor but it doesn’t happen everytime I bend over...
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 24 minutes later
Brief Answer:
As explained.

Detailed Answer:


Thanks for your feedback.

Another probable reason I can think about is a small nerve entrapment occurring in a typical posture.

Desmoid tumors occur typically in females after childbirth although this usually is a painless lump in rectus sheath near umbilicus.

You may need a high-resolution ultrasonography to confirm or rule out specific things as mentioned above.

Obviously, an actual examination by your Doctor, particularly a General Surgeon can help for clinical diagnosis and asking further relevant tests/investigations for support.

Dr. T Chandrakant, General Surgeon

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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