One in five women will not see a doctor when they need to, because they are worried about wasting their GPs time, a survey of 2,000 found.
Not only are women concerned about taking up doctor’s time, but one in five feel that other patients needs are more important than their own, the poll found.
Other reasons that women are putting off important visits included feeling embarrassed (55%), worrying about being judged as overreacting (44%), feeling as though they’re not taken seriously (35%), and not feeling understood (26%).
Katherine Taylor, the chief executive of charity Ovarian Cancer Action, who carried out the survey, said: “The reluctance for women to seek help and speak up about health issues is really worrying but it’s not hard to understand.
“From being too busy or feeling too shy, to prioritising the needs of our families or our jobs – every woman is different and there are myriad reasons that health issues may not take precedence in the busy lives we lead,” she added.
The charity has launched a new campaign, Speak Up, Listen Up, about women recognising the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and feeling empowered to take action if they think something is wrong.
This comes after they found nearly a third of women couldn’t identify the symptoms of ovarian cancer – persistent bloating, tummy pain, and weeing more often – and that one in 10 women said there were no symptoms.
See more on the campaign here.