health

14 ‘Embarrassing’ Health Problems That Should Not Be Ignored

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Anytime I feel like something is wrong with my body, I go where we all go: the internet.

With all the resources now available online, it’s easy to feel like we can self-diagnose whenever we have medical issues.

By looking online, we can figure out whether what we’re feeling is an actual problem or just us overreacting.

On a weekly basis, I probably look up everything from “What happens when you drink spoiled milk?” to “What does skin cancer look like?”

You might be wondering, “If you have medical problems, why don’t you just go to the doctor?” Well, that’s a good question.

Honestly, it’s because I’m pretty sure I’m just being ridiculous and overreacting — I don’t want to embarrass myself by going to the doctor when there’s actually nothing wrong.

I know a lot of people who feel the same way, but there’s a problem with thinking you’re always overreacting: sometimes you’re not, and you actually do need medical attention.

You should never feel ashamed to go to the doctor with embarrassing health problems; they’ve seen it all before.

Below are 14 embarrassing health problems you should never ignore!

Embarrassing Health Problem #1: Weird Smell "Down There"

weird smell down there
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You might think it’s gross if your vagina gets a funky smell, but this could be a sign of something more.

Weird vagina smells don’t mean you’re unclean — it usually just means that there’s a bacterial imbalance called bacterial vaginosis, explains WebMD.

Bacterial vaginosis can put you at a higher risk for STIs, pelvic infections, and miscarriage during pregnancy if it’s not treated. Make sure you get treatment as quickly as you can.

Embarrassing Health Problem #2: No Libido

no libido
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If you’ve found that your sex drive is all but gone, don’t be embarrassed.

If you have no interest in sex over a long period of time, it’s possible that you have hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), explains Everyday Health.

There are a variety of treatments for HSDD, but if you’re distressed about not enjoying sex, talk to your doctor about it.

Embarrassing Health Problem #3: Pain When You Use The Toilet

pain using toilet
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If you have pain while you use the bathroom, that’s not normal.

You might think it’s embarrassing to talk to your doctor about your bowel movements, but they’re used to it and they can help.

New Health Advisor explains there are a variety of reasons behind your painful poops, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, inflammation of the rectum (proctitis), colorectal cancer, and anal fissures.

You might think that painful bowel movements are no big deal, but they may be more serious than you realize.

Embarrassing Health Problem #4: Excessive Sweating

excessive sweating
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Almost 3 percent of the population suffers from excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis.

Although you might find it embarrassing to be sweaty even when it’s cold out or you’re not being active, it’s definitely something to bring up with your doctor.

While it is necessary for the body to sweat when it needs to cool off, hyperhidrosis causes the body to sweat even when it doesn’t need cooling, explains the American Academy of Dermatology.

Many doctors will prescribe special antiperspirants with aluminum chloride to help counteract the overactive sweat glands.

Embarrassing Health Problem #5: So Much Stress You Can't Function

too much stress
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Everyone feels stress from time to time, but if you have so much stress that you’re unable to function, it may be time to talk to a doctor.

If your stress seems never-ending, you may be experiencing chronic stress, which can cause a lot of problems, including headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, and digestive problems.

Managing your stress may seem like a personal problem, but if it’s so bad you can’t function, your doctor may be able to help.

Embarrassing Health Problem #6: Nipple Changes

nipple changes
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

We have nipples our entire lives, so it’s strange if they suddenly change. It can be weird and embarrassing, but it’s definitely something you should see a doctor about immediately.

Changing nipples can be a sign of breast cancer. If your nipples get inverted, have unusual discharge, or suddenly have a rash, you should document the change and talk to your doctor.

Embarrassing Health Problem #7: Incontinence

incontinence embarrassing
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Many women are embarrassed when they have urinary incontinence, but you don’t have to be.

Urinary incontinence is pretty common, and there are easy treatments — you just have to push past the embarrassment and talk to a doctor.

WebMD explains that doctors can always help with incontinence and won’t make you feel awkward about it.

If you have a leaky bladder, there are a lot of at-home remedies doctors can recommend. There are also medications that may be necessary for you.

Embarrassing Health Problem #8: Spotting Between Periods

spotting between periods
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Usually, spotting between periods isn’t a cause for concern. However, if you notice it keeps happening, you may want to discuss it with your doctor.

According to Bustle, spotting between periods can happen for a variety of reasons, including the following: polycystic ovarian syndrome, pregnancy, STIs, and ovarian cancer.

Spotting is usually just annoying, but if you’re consistently spotting, ask your doctor if there might be an underlying cause.

Embarrassing Health Problem #9: Anal Itching

anal itching
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It’s never fun to experience itching around your anus, but it’s also not that uncommon.

There are a lot of possible reasons for anal itching, including hemorrhoids, yeast infections, or even intestinal parasites. Knowing the reason behind your anal itching can affect the treatment.

If your anus is itching, you should be seen by a doctor ASAP.

Embarrassing Health Problem #10: Excessive Hair Growth

excessive hair growth
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you have excessive hair growth on your body, face, or elsewhere, it can be extremely embarrassing.

Sometimes, this hair growth can be a symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can also cause female-pattern hair loss.

Bustle explains that a PCOS diagnosis can allow women to get treatment to help with symptoms like hair growth and loss.

Embarrassing Health Problem #11: Yeast Infection

yeast infection
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

According to Everyday Health, up to 75 percent of women will have a vaginal yeast infection at some point during life.

Many people feel embarrassed about yeast infections because they’re itchy, uncomfortable, and intimate. However, they’re nothing to be ashamed about.

Waiting to get treatment only makes the yeast infection more uncomfortable, but they’re easily treatable.

If it’s your first time experiencing a yeast infection, you should consult a doctor to make sure it’s actually a yeast infection and not anything more serious.

Unless you’re pregnant, over-the-counter medications can be a good way to go.

Embarrassing Health Problem #12: Adult Acne

adult acne
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

When you’re an adolescent or teen, it’s normal to have acne — but as you get older, it can be embarrassing to wake up in the morning and find that you have an acne breakout.

According to Live Science, 45 percent of women ages 21 to 30 have acne, 26 percent of women ages 31 to 40 suffer from it, and 12 percent of women 41 to 50 struggle with acne.

Many women feel embarrassed about their acne, though as these statistics show, people with adult acne are definitely not alone.

Women may be more prone to acne because their hormones fluctuate more than men’s due to pregnancy and menopause.

If you have adult acne that affects your confidence, your doctor may be able to help you find an easy fix. With prescription and non-prescription options available, doctors can recommend the best choice for your skin.

Embarrassing Health Problem #13: STDs

embarrassing stds
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

One of the health problems people feel particularly embarrassed about is STDs and STIs.

Although they’re embarrassing, most of them are easily treatable, so you should definitely tell you doctors if you think you might have one.

Also, there’s no shame in getting tested — most doctors will test your urine during a yearly physical if you request it.

The Department of Health recommends that you always have honest conversations with your doctor about your sexual activity in order for them to properly assess your sexual risk.

Embarrassing Health Problem #14: Hemorrhoids

embarrassing hemorrhoids
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Hemorrhoids, although uncomfortable and embarrassing to talk about, are very common.

Live Science explains that almost half of people have had hemorrhoids by age 50, so if you have them, you’re in good company.

People with hemorrhoids often experience a variety of symptoms, including pain during bowel movements, bright-red blood, anal itching, and anal ache or pain.

When hemorrhoids are mild, doctors will typically recommend over-the-counter treatments. If the hemorrhoids are more serious, there are outpatient procedures doctors can perform.

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