1. Hernias are extremely unlikely in people born without testicles, because our inguinal canals are very small...no testicles dropped through them.
2. Hernias are even more unlikely in people with uteruses who have never been pregnant. Pregnancy puts strain on the muscles and ligaments of the abdomen, which in turn can create weak spots that may develop into hernias. I have never been pregnant.
3. As I participate in a lot of activity that strenghtens the pelvic floor (pilates, especially), it's unlikely that I have one of these weak spots caused by some other problem, such as constipation or excess weight.
1. An endometrioma is a bit of uterine tissue growing outside of your uterus. People with endometriosis (which I strongly suspect I have) get these bits of tissue in many places and it causes problems like constipation and/or diarrhea with your period. The tissue can show up in many places in your abdomen, including around lymph nodes in your groin.
2. The lump swells and deflates in concert with my period... the swelling that sent me to the doc was just unusually bad for reasons we're not sure of.
3. One other sign it's probably an endometrioma is that the skin over it often gets bruised when you have your period -- that's definitely been the case for me, although I always thought it was just because the swelling made the lump rub on my pants.
I'll have a CAT scan to make sure that this is an endometrioma and not a hernia or an inflamed lymph node. (The lump is also higher than would be normal for a hernia in a woman, so it's super unlikely.) If it's an endometrioma, they can do a quick, simple surgery to remove it.
I haven't met anyone or read about someone having an endometrioma that was visible outside of their body before, so I wanted to share this info in case it helps someone else.