Survey Reveals The Subjects Women Consider Taboo

Armen Hareyan's picture

Age, weight or constipation -- which is a woman's most closely guarded secret? A new survey commissioned by the makers of Dulcolax reveals the subjects women wish to avoid. The winner -- constipation. It's no secret that constipation is uncomfortable, but what's surprising is just how uneasy women are even talking about it. The Dulcolax Taboo Topics Survey takes a close look at women and their reaction to this "closed lip" topic.

It is not uncommon to stumble across subject areas that strike an unnerving chord for some people: religion, politics and finances. For women, the two subjects traditionally held "close to the vest" are age and weight. This survey reveals women are far more comfortable talking about these topics than talking about constipation. An overwhelming 91 percent of women surveyed stated they would rather reveal how many candles were on their last birthday cake than admit they are constipated. Nearly eight of ten (78%) would rather talk about their weight than discuss constipation with a neighbor. And although dressing rooms with full-length mirrors are never a girl's best friend, nearly two-thirds (66%) would rather try on bathing suits than talk about constipation.

Mum's the Word... Unfortunately

Constipation affects millions of women nationwide. And, when it comes to constipation, women aren't necessarily comfortable sharing -- even with health care professionals. When asked whom they would confide in if they were constipated, only one in four women indicated they would tell their doctor. A similar percentage of women wouldn't tell a soul. Surprisingly, women stated that experiencing and talking about constipation are equally uncomfortable. Although there are more difficult topics to discuss than constipation, one in three women still find it harder to talk to a pharmacist about constipation than a yeast infection.

Donnica Moore, MD ("Dr. Donnica") is disheartened that women keep to themselves when it comes to constipation. "It's surprising how few will confide in their doctor if they were experiencing this problem. It's time to stop the silence," she said. "Knowledge is power. The more women talk about their constipation, the more they can find support for this common health problem and learn about how to relieve it."


Sheepish in Shopping for Laxatives

Talking isn't the only troublesome task when it comes to constipation. Purchasing laxative products can be just as trying. Almost one in five women confess to having taken some type of extra measure to avoid being seen buying laxatives. Of them, over half have hidden them under other items in their shopping cart. There are the few who have taken it one step further by shopping late at night or sending out a friend or family member to pick laxatives up for them. Then, there are the few "extremists" who have gone as far as shop in a different neighborhood altogether. In fact, nearly one in five women are so embarrassed about purchasing laxatives they would rather get a speeding ticket than have their laxatives "price checked" at a supermarket or pharmacy check-out counter.

The Surprising Sacrifices Women Would Make to Avoid Constipation

Women want to steer clear of constipation and seem willing to make sacrifices to ensure that they'd never again be constipated. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed said they would give up chocolate for three months and more than four in ten (41%) women would be willing to forgo wearing makeup for a month to avoid this problem.

Constipation is uncomfortable, in more ways than one. When compared to other uncomfortable situations, the women surveyed were just as likely to say being constipated is as uncomfortable as a gynecological exam, and if given a choice, roughly an equal number of women would choose to undergo a root canal as deal with frequent constipation.

So What Can They Do?

Dr. Donnica encourages women to break the silence and start discussing the problem. "It's time to get the conversation started," she said. "No one should feel embarrassed to talk about constipation -- especially not with their doctors. Women should feel comfortable and confident knowing that using an over-the-counter laxative like Dulcolax is a safe and effective way to get relief."