The hernia forms a lump in your groin and can even descend into your scrotum. (which is why doctors do all that poking and prodding. The cough is to produce internal pressure, making the hernia easier to detect) So begins your battle with the bulge. Hernias can usually be pushed back into place with gentle massage and disappear on their own when you lie down. But stand up, sit down or do anything that places pressure on your gut and it can reappear. A hernia might be as small as a marble–or even bigger than a basketball. Regardless of size, hernias almost always hurt. The pain varies, some men describe a heavy feeling, others feel a stabbing sensation. Giving up smoking is about the only thing you can do to avoid developing a hernia, since the inhaled fumes weaken collagen, the building block of muscle. (a smoker who gets a hernia also has an increased risk of developing a second one.) You might also choose jobs carefully. If you load trucks for a living and your buddy Felix is an accountant, you could be up to 2 1/2 times more likely than Felix to develop a hernia.