These are the most Googled ‘embarrassing’ health questions in Plymouth

Mary's picture
Authored by Mary
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 23:10

We’re all guilty of symptom-searching on Google, especially when the concern is too “embarrassing” to speak to a GP. Covid-19 has also meant we’re now more likely than ever to skip the doctors, with GP appointments down 30 percent.

The problem is Dr. Google doesn’t always get it right. In fact, research shows Google is wrong a third of the time. Relying on a search engine for your medical advice can also help fuel “cyberchondria” – the escalation of health anxieties based on what you read online.

But what ‘embarrassing’ issues are the residents of Plymouth most worried about? And how do they compare to the rest of the country? 

To find out, online health and wellbeing retailer StressNoMore has analysed just how many searches in Plymouth are for how to treat the most common problems like hair loss, bad breath, sweating, warts, constipation, farting, thrush and incontinence. 

Plymouth appears as the 4th most concerned city with residents googling 143 embarrassing health searches per 100,000 people. 

The biggest health problem Plymouth residents are too shy to speak to their GP about is “How to treat thrush”, a common yeast infection. This is also the most-asked question across the nation, being searched over 33,000 times in the UK every month.

Thrush, despite usually being harmless, is still a taboo subject. It’s also wrongly thought of as a women’s problem and is caused by poor hygiene. In reality, it can affect anyone at any point in their lives and the NHS recommends you visit your GP or sexual health clinic to rule out other more serious infections. 

How the top 10 embarrassing health concerns compare in Plymouth per 100,000 people to the UK per 100,000 people can be seen below: 

Top 10 embarrassing health questions: Plymouth vs the UK

Embarrassing Health Question

Plymouth (Searches per 100,000 people)*

UK (Searches per 100,000 people)*

Difference

thrush how to treat

47

56

-9

acne how to treat

24

31

-7

how warts are removed

24

25

-1

piles how to treat

14

20

-6

what causes constipation

14

17

-3

what causes night sweats

7

9

-2

how to stop farting

3

5

-2

how to get rid of bad breath

3

5

-2

how much hair loss is normal

3

1

+2

peeing when coughing

3

1

+2

*These numbers are rounded up to the nearest whole number.

Residents of Plymouth are googling their concerns three times more than UK as a whole when it comes to hair loss and incontinence.   

Stephanie Taylor, Founder of StressNoMore commented on the findings:

The sheer number of people in the UK Googling these health concerns every month just goes to show how common they are so there’s no need to be embarrassed. Most issues have quick fixes and doing something about it can get you back to feeling your best, faster.

“While Googling health concerns is an important step in understanding your health status, Google doesn’t know you as an individual or your medical history. If you have a health concern and are unsure what to do, always consult your GP or another health professional. Remember, nothing is too embarrassing to share.”

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