The winter months bring lots of colds and sometimes the flu. If you find yourself needing to cough or sneeze, it’s often helpful to place a pillow or your hand over your incision. This provides some support and comfort, and will hopefully decrease your pain when you cough or sneeze. Sharp pain is not uncommon after a cough or sneeze, and lingering effects should resolve in a day or two. It’s very unlikely that the hernia will return as a result of this.