STD Embarrassment Keeps Women from Going to the Doctor

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embarrassing STDs

The most frequent barrier to going to the doctor to get screened for STD’s like herpes or HPV is embarrassment. – Women’s Health Issues (1)

Many men and women won’t go to the doctor even when they’re worried they might have a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

The biggest reason is embarrassment.

People won’t go to the doctor. They won’t tell the people they have sex with. And, they try to deal with their problem alone. (2)

For example, Dr. Isabel C. Scarinci and colleagues wrote that “The most frequent barriers to get cervical cancer screening were embarrassment, the test being uncomfortable, and fear of results.” (1)

STD Embarrassment

Self-conscious emotions (shame, guilt and embarrassment) are part of many individuals’ experiences of seeking STI testing. These emotions can have negative impacts on individuals’ interpretations of the STI testing process, their willingness to seek treatment and their willingness to inform sexual partners in light of positive STI diagnoses.” (BioMed Central, 2010) (2)

Another study said large numbers of people would “delay or refuse treatment because of embarrassment.” (Culture, Health and Sexuality, Jan. 2005) (3)

Lisa Marr writes in her book, “Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A Physician Tell You what You Need to Know,” that: “There are many good reasons to overcome embarrassment and fear and seek medical advice if you suspect that you may have a sexually transmitted disease.”(4)

“Someone who is infected, but doesn’t know it, for example, can still infect his or her sexual partners, and pregnant women who are infected with certain STDs may pass the infections to their babies during the pregnancy or at delivery.” (4)

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