Nearly Half of Women Use the Men’s Room to Avoid Long Lines at the Women’s Bathroom

More That a Third Describe Feeling Annoyed When Forced to Wait in Line to Use the Bathroom

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, November 17, 2017 — A sizeable proportion of American women say that they have used the men’s room when the line for the women’s bathroom was too long (49%). Although risqué, many women have peed in even more unusual places. One in five women say the most unusual place they’ve peed was behind the bushes (19%), closely followed by in the woods (17%) or on the roadside (16%). More than a third say they feel frustrated when they cannot find a bathroom when they need one (36%), with 21% scoping out where the bathroom is when arriving at a public venue.

Two fifths of American women say they think about their bladder health often (40% very/somewhat often). While women are most likely to confide in their physician about frequent visits to the bathroom to pee, stomach aches, and digestive problems, they are most likely to discuss cramps with their best friend. Based on this information, it’s not surprising that most women gather information from their physician (65%) or Web-MD (51%) when feeling ill or having a health issue.

About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted June 12-16, 2017 on behalf of Astellas. For the survey, a sample of 2,854 women age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.


The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2013 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.


Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=2,854, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=3.6).

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can  download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs