Embarrassing illnesses…


Whenever I have to cancel work and can’t say the real reason why, I get frustrated at the amount of things that seem impolite to reveal.

There are many conditions or illnesses that people are too embarrassed to say they have to anyone other than very close family/friends. But we shouldn’t have to feel that way! We try to get around it by wording it a certain way, or being really vague but all our bodies do gross or embarrassing things sometimes! Below is a list of as many things I could think of and the other ways we say them.


A perfectly technical term and come on- everyone gets this at some point!!

Some ‘polite’ ways of saying this are:

-Funny tummy

-bad tummy

-tummy ache

-dodgy tummy

-Feeling sick

-food poisoning

-upset stomach

Some more graphic ways of saying this include:

-The squits!

-Been on the toilet all night

-Shooting out of me

-Coming out both ends

-got the sh*ts

-Flaming hole

Yeah so not particularly nice phrasing!!

So what is the best way to say ‘Sorry I can’t do today, I…’ My choice would be:

‘Sorry I can’t do today, I have a bad tummy

It is a fair sum up of whats wrong, they probably know what you really mean, but you still seem sweet and innocent with no butt references!

Period pain

People never think this is so bad- if you have endometriosis then it is killer but it can also suck for most women too! Yet it always sounds like a bad excuse.

Here are some other terms:

-Menstruating (perhaps too scientific and makes you envisage it?)

-Time of the month

-Aunt Flow’s visiting

– Stomach Cramps

– Stomach pain

– Lady problems

– I’m bleeding

-Heavy period

So which seems the most polite? I’d go with:

‘I can’t do today, I have bad stomach cramps’

I choose this because its truthful but not too specific.

Haemorrhoids (spell check changed it to this?)

Ok, what are our other terms?


-Pain down below


-Problems going to toilet

To be honest I can’t think of anymore! I expect there are some more awful ones! Ok so this wouldn’t likely be an excuse not to go out but to tell someone you have this, what term do you use? I actually think any of these would be fine- its a very embarrassing problem but incredibly common. No one likes talking about problems with their bottom but I think if you need to tell someone then theres no one best way to say it!


Other terms:

-Can’t hold it

-Leaky bladder

-Pissed my pants

-Can’t control my bladder

-Problems going to toilet

-Need to use the toilet alot

Another problem that is to do with your pelvic area which can cause people a lot of shame. It’s the kind of thing that needs an open conversation and not necessarily something you would need to tell people out of your close circle. However if you did need to I would go with the ‘problems going to toilet’.


Something very close to me and something I rarely ever talk to people about because of the embarrassment- but how do you describe it?

-Problem with my nerve endings

-Pain during sex

-Pain down there

-Unable to have sex

-Chronic pain condition

-Pain in my vulva

-Pain problem

Again, this problem deserves a full and extensive chat with all of these phrases included! But if you’re in a situation where it needs to be said in a vague polite way I’d go with ‘chronic pain condition’.

So I’ve noticed a trend…all of these problems affect your sexual organs and digestive tract. This area of the body is the most hidden day to day, incredibly complex, and obviously a taboo subject. But so many people suffer with these kinds of problems, so we need to get over the need to carefully word everything! I have piles…so what? It’s one of the least problematic side effects of my many other conditions and nothing that reflects on me as a person! I have vulvodynia and it sucks big time but its chronic pain in the vulva that comes on suddenly and can happen to anyone, so again, no reflection on me as a person!

Let’s all get over it! Please I want to hear any other so called ’embarrassing’ problems and your way of telling people whats wrong. One day hopefully we can just be honest and not have to overthink everything we say!


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