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Getting Medical Help for an STD is Too Embarrassing for Britons

Update Date: Jul 06, 2013 12:17 PM EDT

Discussing sexual activities and partners can be embarrassing topics to have with anyone. Even though people know that medical professionals are bound by patient-doctor confidentiality, a new survey found that a lot of Britons would still avoid seeing medical help for sexually related diseases or conditions because they are too embarrassed. This survey, conducted by a drug supplier called, suggests that adults in the United Kingdom could be putting themselves at risk by not seeking help or by just relying on medical information provided from the Internet.

The survey discovered that one in 10 Britons, or 10 percent, admitted that they would not get medical help because they are too embarrassed to discuss possible sexually transmitted infection (STI) with their doctors. Around one in every four British people, or 25 percent, is afflicted with some kind of sexually related disease or disorder, which ranges from having an STI to erectile dysfunction. This group of people reported that they would not seek treatment because they were ashamed or too afraid of their outcomes.

When the participants were asked what diseases they believed they had, 35 percent said they think they had an STI, 27 percent believed that their problem was occasional or frequent erectile dysfunction and 22 percent reported feeling pain during sex. These conditions can be treatable and when left ignored, they not only harm physical health, they can also ruin sexual relationships. Although avoiding medical care is dangerous enough, around 62 percent stated that they self-diagnosed their conditions and around 18 percent self-treated via medications acquired over-the-counter.

"It seems that Britons like to keep their [sexual problems a secret], but ignoring a potential medical problem is never a good life," Peter Farley from said according to Daily Mail. "Whilst it can seem embarrassing, finding out what's wrong and seeking progress help to rectify it is a much better idea than sweeping it under the carpet - and [potentially] making it a much worse problem."

This survey reveals the risks that people out themselves in every day by ignoring their symptoms and avoiding treatment due to embarrassment or fear. The findings suggest that the country might need to do a better job at creating a rapport surrounding sexual diseases and conditions. If people were more open about these conditions or better educated about them, more people might be willing to get treated.

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