Think Latinas Talk about everything? Think Again!

Think Latinas Talk about everything? Think Again!

New survey reveals what subjects Latinas consider taboo


Ridgefield, CT–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–November 8, 2007–Age, weight or constipation – which is a Latina’s most closely guarded secret? A new survey commissioned by the makers of Dulcolax(R) reveals the subject Hispanic women wish to avoid. The winner – constipation. It’s no secret that constipation is uncomfortable, but what’s surprising is just how uneasy Hispanic women are even talking about it. The Dulcolax Taboo Topics Survey takes a close look at Latinas 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. For Hispanic women, two subjects traditionally held “close to the vest” are age and weight. This survey reveals Latinas are far more comfortable talking about these topics than talking about constipation. An overwhelming 90 percent of Hispanic women would rather reveal how many candles were on their last birthday cake than admit they are constipated. More than eight out of ten (81%) would rather talk about their weight than discuss constipation with a neighbor. And although dressing rooms with full-length mirrors are not a girl’s best friend, nearly two-thirds (63%) would rather try on bathing suits than talk about constipation.

Mum’s the Word… Unfortunately

Constipation affects millions of women nationwide, and Latinas are no exception. When it comes to constipation, Hispanic women aren’t necessarily comfortable sharing – even with health care professionals. When asked whom they would confide in if they were constipated, fewer than one in five (17%) Latinas indicated they would tell their doctor. Surprisingly, approximately two out of five (41%) Latinas stated that discussing their constipation would be more uncomfortable than actually experiencing it. The majority of Latinas (68%) find it harder to talk to a pharmacist about constipation than a pregnancy test kit.

Dr. Fuentes is disheartened that Hispanic 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 Latinas 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. Four out of ten Hispanic women confess to having taken some type of measure to avoid being seen when they have bought laxatives. Of them, over half have hidden them under other items in their shopping cart. One-third of them say they have shopped late at night, and a similar percentage stated they would send a friend or family member to pick up laxatives for them. One in four Hispanic 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

Hispanic women want to steer clear of constipation and seem willing to make sacrifices to ensure that they’d never again be constipated. If given a choice, 56 percent of those surveyed said they would rather give up chocolate for three months and nearly two out of five (39%) Latinas would forgo wearing makeup for one month to avoid this problem.

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

So What Can They Do?

Dr. Fuentes encourages Latinas 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, when used as directed, an over-the-counter laxative like Dulcolax(R) is a safe and effective way to get relief.”

About Dulcolax

For over 50 years, Dulcolax has been providing gentle and predictable relief to those who suffer from irregularity and constipation. Dulcolax is the leading doctor and pharmacist recommended brand of stimulant laxatives. In addition to the stimulant laxatives, available in both tablets and suppositories, Dulcolax also offers a stool softener. For more information on Dulcolax, please visit

About Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 137 affiliates in 47 countries and 38,400 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2006, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of U.S. $13.3 billion (10.6 billion euro) while spending almost one-fifth of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

The worldwide Consumer Health Care (CHC) business — one of the core businesses of Boehringer Ingelheim — strives to serve consumers with top-quality over-the-counter drug products. Boehringer Ingelheim CHC is ranked the 8th largest supplier of over-the-counter drug products worldwide.

In the U.S., Boehringer Ingelheim CHC markets the Dulcolax(R) and Zantac(R) product lines. For more information, please visit

Methodological Notes

The Dulcolax Taboo Topics survey was conducted by Kelton Research among Hispanic women over 18 nationally between May 25th and May 31st, 2007. All decimals are rounded to the nearest percentage point. This may result in certain numerical totals adding up to slightly more or slightly less than 100%.

Think Latinas Talk about everything? Think Again!