Millions of Britons are at risk of deadly diseases because they are too embarrassed to check for symptoms

MILLIONS of adults have been embarrassed to see a doctor about symptoms of potentially deadly illnesses – from bloody urine to excessive bloating.

More than a quarter of self-conscious adults admit that they have skipped seeing a GP because they fear that their personal problems are too embarrassing to share.

Brits are too shy and don't go to the doctor about supposedly embarrassing health problems


Brits are too shy and don’t go to the doctor about supposedly embarrassing health problemsCredit: Getty – Contributor

The study also found that 12% of men and women missed a doctor’s appointment for two years or more to avoid a health problem that made them cringe.

But nearly half of adults have attempted to self-diagnose during the lockdown by scouring non-NHS and ‘Dr Google’ websites for a deep dive into symptoms, studying 2,255 people. revealed.

Nearly a third of respondents also told the Essity-commissioned Check for Change survey they tried to get an in-person appointment with their GP but were unable to due to Covid restrictions.

A spokesman for the hygiene and health company said: “Searching for symptoms online seems to have become the norm. among UK adults during coronavirus containment.

“But under no circumstances should anyone rely on social media or ‘Dr Google’ prognosis.

“See your actual doctor or healthcare professional if you’re concerned. It’s important that we overcome the shame and stigma surrounding our intimate health.”

The poll questioned 2,000 people aged 18 to 55 and over from England, Scotland and Wales as well as 255 people of the same age from the north and south of Ireland.

Swathes among those surveyed claim they would never make an appointment with a doctor about a range of “bath-related” health problems, even though many of them are warning signs of cancer and other incurable diseases.

Loss of control, smelly vaginal discharge, and bloody urine or stools – known as signs of bowel cancer – are among the most embarrassingly named problems to discuss.

Excessive bloating – which can be a sign of Celiac disease and an irritable or inflamed bowel – will keep 34% of sufferers from seeing their GP.

Another 15% said increased gas would cause them to wait at least two weeks before making an appointment with their doctor to find a solution.

While 10% will also wait more than two weeks to see a GP if they have a change in their vaginal discharge – 14% will not go for a checkup.

Bleeding between periods or after sex will keep 16% from seeing a doctor, and more than four in 10 say they’ve never seen a doctor to discuss bladder or bowel problems.

Nearly a quarter would rather search for symptoms on Google than consult a doctor, although nearly a third claim they “assume the worst” in terms of body change.


1) Excessive bloating – 34% (15% will wait more than two weeks to see a GP)

2) Bleeding between periods / after sex – 16% (16% wait 2 weeks or more)

3) Change in vaginal discharge – 14% (10% wait 2 weeks or more)

4) Change in stool color/thickness/smell/shape – 12% (15% wait 2 weeks or more)

5) Difference in abnormal testicle size – 8% (9% wait 2 weeks or more)

6) Swollen/enlarged/painful testicles – 7% (6% wait 2 weeks or more)

7) Loss of bladder control / urinary incontinence – 6% (18% wait 2 weeks or more)

8) Easy bruising & fluid accumulation – 6% (10% wait 2 weeks or more)

9) Incontinence – 5% (10% wait 2 weeks or more)

10) Abnormal growth/ulcer on penis/vagina – 3% (8% wait 2 weeks or more)

Of the 26% of those surveyed who blamed embarrassment for delaying going to the doctor, 22% were men and 31% were women.

People aged 18-34 most often feel guilty about not seeing a GP, with 39% of the age group saying they’ve put off seeing a doctor about something they find too hard to share. shall.

More than two out of 10 respondents admit they have beesn was diagnosed with a condition that could have been detected earlier if they went to see a doctor when their symptoms started.

Wetting or defecating ourselves also topped the list of the most “embarrassing” things to admit to loved ones or friends, with respondents claiming that confessing would be as difficult as confessing. job or engagement ring.

When asked to name the experience they most hated to endure, 47% of respondents discussed health issues related to their genitals, bowels, or “unusual or foul-smelling discharge.” .

This is higher than the 44% of those who said they would be most stunned to swim with a shark and the 38% who dreaded the thought of having to endure the ordeal of a famous man in I’m a Celebrity. .


Also, nearly 51% admitted that they were most scared when they had to fight 10 rounds against heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua.

The survey identified a number of “embarrassing” illnesses that are so alarming that they cannot be ignored.

The discovery of a lump or swelling in the breast, testicle, groin, chest, or stomach brings people to the doctor in as little as a day.

Those who discovered sores or unusual growths on the penis or vagina said they would rush to see a doctor as well – with only 4% of men and 5% of women willing to ignore their appearance.

An Essity spokesperson added: “It is completely understandable that people with symptoms they feel embarrassed about are reluctant to share their concerns with a medical professional, but we must remember that these people have had these kinds of problems millions of times before.

“It’s important that we check for any changes that may be related to our bathroom health, and then have the confidence to talk to a healthcare professional about it.” Millions of Britons are at risk of deadly diseases because they are too embarrassed to check for symptoms

Fry Electronics Team

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