MILLIONS of people are suffering in silence with health issues because they are too embarrassed to buy the correct treatment over the counter, a study* shows.

Research suggests 15 million adults in the UK have had an ailment that has been made worse because they were too embarrassed to speak with their pharmacist about it. As over a third of adults (36%) have left empty handed as they felt too ashamed, it is important to remember “we’re here to help”, says Well Pharmacy.

The study, commissioned by Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy, revealed over half the adult population (56%) have struggled with embarrassment when buying items such as condoms, lubricant, and pregnancy tests. Almost a fifth of customers confess to sending their partner into the pharmacist to save their blushes, and an astonishing 1 in 12 have sent their child.

Tanpreet Kaur, Digital Pharmacist from Well Pharmacy, said: “No one should be embarrassed by their health and the products highlighted in our results are very common, which many people use.

“There is nothing you can say to a pharmacist that we’ve not already heard before, and it is important to remember we’re here to help. Health conditions left untreated can cause further complications and in some cases anxiety and stress. Absolutely no one should suffer in silence."

"Most of our community pharmacies have consultation rooms with no appointment necessary so you can have a private and confidential health conversation. Plus, most of the products people feel most embarrassed about buying are available via our online shop. We want it to be as easy and pain free as possible for people to access the right products and treatments they need to stay healthy and feel better."

To see the full range of healthcare essentials available to buy from a healthcare brand you can trust visit

The most embarrassing items to ask in-person to a pharmacist for are:

  1. Condoms
  2. Lubricant
  3. Thrush cream
  4. Erectile Disfunction medication
  5. Haemorrhoid cream
  6. Vaginal cleaning products
  7. Vaginal dryness creams
  8. Morning after pill
  9. Sanitary products
  10. Laxatives

Tanpreet added: “Erectile Dysfunction medication came out as one of the most embarrassing items to buy and is available at our online pharmacy. 1 in 5 men have experienced erectile dysfunction at some point and there is treatment and support available that can help.“

Well Pharmacy has launched a free, private online consultation service consultation, so you do not have to visit your local community pharmacy. Following your confidential online consultation your order will be discreetly delivered to you for free. For more information visit:

*Research of 2,000 UK adults was conducted by Atomik Research. The research fieldwork took place on 9th – 13th April 2021. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.