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When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go, right?

Perhaps not.

Parcopresis, is the fear of pooing without a certain level of privacy. And it’s more common than you think.  Often referred to as ‘shy bowel’, it’s the social anxiety about making the sounds and smells of a number two.

We all do it, why is it so taboo?

Sufferers feel very uncomfortable about going at work, at school, while out, and even at home when sharing a toilet in a new relationship.

More women suffer than men, perhaps due to deep seated and archaic expectations of how women are supposed be … and smell … like sugar and spice and all things nice.

It often stems from embarrassment during childhood, and when dirty and broken toilet cubicles put children off using school toilets. They hold it in and stop eating and drinking to avoid going in the first place.

One in seven suffer from constipation

Often it’s not convenient to go to the loo, so your body is very clever at holding on, but continually switching off the brain’s signal to defecate can cause constipation.

According to The Bowel Group Report 2020, one in seven adults suffer from constipation and 60% are women. 

The knock on effect can cause even more serious conditions such as fecal impaction, bowel perforation, anal fissures and haemorrhoids.

Give yourself a break

If you go down to the coffee shop to avoid going at work, then you probably are a sufferer.  Here’s some tips to help you relax:

  • Remember, the bottom line is that everyone does it. As unappealing as it might seem, visualise someone you admire, or a glamorous actor, on the throne.
  • See the funny side of it. Farts are funny, and how many times have you heard a man say, ‘I’d give it five minutes if I were you’?
  • If you can’t bring yourself to do that, carry a small bottle of air freshener or deodorant with you to use in a public toilet cubicle.
  • Line the inside of the toilet bowl with toilet paper. This will help absorb some of the sound.
  • Be mindful of wasting water of course, but flushing will disguise the sound and reduce the smell.
  • Breathe deeply or do a short mindfulness meditation exercise if you feel symptoms of anxiety.

Privacy cubicles

There’s good news on the horizon. At Venesta, we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for privacy cubicles.  Especially in schools. We understand how nobody wants to be overheard or feel vulnerable in school toilets or commercial washrooms.

Our full height cubicles can be specified with minimal floor and ceiling clearance, down to as little as 5mm gaps all round. It’s the way forward, particularly for unisex toilets where privacy is especially important.

Need help?

If you need help specifying private toilet cubicles that can help generations of people with lifelong anxieties, our Specification Managers are on hand to provide practical solutions for your washroom project.

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