My role


Feeling ill but too embarrassed to say?

Two in five people would rather go untreated for a health issue than ask for help with teenagers the most likely to suffer in silence.

That is one of the findings of a survey carried out by the the Co-operative Pharmacy to mark the launch of their new website.

Online drugs logoThis embarrassment can have dangerous consequences. Many struggle on without getting advice while two-thirds would rather buy treatment for an embarrassing illness over the internet if they could even though buying drugs online can be very risky.

Pharmacies usually have a health care assistant able to answer questions but 40% would rather wait until the shop is empty before speaking to them. More than a third would go out of their way to visit a pharmacy where they are less likely to be recognised by someone they know and more than a quarter cannot look the person who is trying to help them in the eye for fear of humiliation.

Erections the toughest topic

The MHF has not been able to see the findings but the Co-operative Pharmacy tell us that men are most likely to be embarrassed to talk about erection problems (58%), tests or treatment for sexually-transmitted infections (47%), incontinence (39%), piles (39%), worms (35%) and flatulence (28%). If this applies to you, follow the links to the malehealth info on these subjects.

Mandeep Mudhar, Head of Business Development at the Co-operative Pharmacy, the UK's third largest pharmacy, said: 'Our research has shown that coy behaviour is putting people’s long-term health at risk and causing unnecessary suffering. Healthcare professionals are trained to deal with people’s concerns in a sensitive way, but despite this, people are too self-conscious to ask for help with certain issues, many ones that can be treated easily.

'The majority of pharmacies now have a private consultation room, but customers also now have a wider range of options to explore when it comes to getting reliable and convenient health advice and treatment online via trusted information websites or an online doctor consultation. We would always urge people to check that they are using a reputable UK-based source by looking for contact details.'

Encouraging men to use reputable online sources such as is one of the goals of Men's Health Week 2011.

The Co-operative Pharmacy's new site includes an an online doctor service.

Page created on May 18th, 2011

Page updated on May 18th, 2011