I have a recurring lump that protrudes from my stomach?

Patient

Q: I feel movement in my stomach. It can be felt from the outside by others. I am not pregnant. What could this be? My stomach gets hard and a large lump sticks out in my stomach area (exact location varies from side to side) similar to what a Braxton Hicks contraction would do. It actually feels exactly like Braxton Hicks. The lump is about the length 5-6 inches long and 2 inches wide. I am not pregnant, I was on my period when this first started over a week ago.

Symptoms:  Cramping, Tightening of the abdomen, movement in stomach, protruding lump during cramping that later goes away and returns.
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It is possible that this protrusion from your abdomen could be a hernia. This occurs when muscles of the abdomen weaken, leading to protrusion of abdominal contents (intestines) through the opening. This is referred to as an epigastric hernia, and can move with as you reposition your body and can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, such as cramping and pain.
We cannot rule out the possibility of pregnancy based on your description, so if you have not done so already, we will like you to have a pregnancy test performed when you consult your doctor to be certain.
Epigastric hernias of this size will require surgical repair, to close the weakened area of your abdominal wall. Please seek further evaluation from your doctor.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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