One in five women have said no to sex due to IBS symptoms, according to study

Caroline Allen
Contributor
One in five women have said no to sex because of IBS symptoms, a new study has found [Photo: Getty]

One in five women have refused sex with their partner, even if they have wanted to, due to the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The new study by Healthista researched 1600 UK women aged 25-65.

The poll, commissioned by Alflorex, coincides with IBS Awareness Month in April. It discovered that women found bloating, amongst other symptoms, stopped women from wanting to show their bodies.

IBS symptoms like boating, flatulence, cramps and constipation impacts a shocking 41 per cent of women.

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Only 18% of the women surveyed said they had been diagnosed with IBS. 41% said they had suffered with the most common symptoms but had never had their symptoms diagnosed by a doctor.

Whilst one in five of us have refused sex due to the problems in our gut, another 18 per cent of women surveyed said that their symptoms had stopped them from having sex altogether.

It’s no surprise that 35% of women polled noted flatulence as the most embarrassing symptom of IBS. This was followed by 17% who found bloating to be the biggest embarrassment.

A surprising 29% of the women said that they’ve held in trapped wind for so long that it has left them with crippling stomach pains.

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Talking about IBS with new partners can be an embarrassing subject. Most women opted to reveal their gut problems to their partners with three months of dating, but 7 per cent took over a year. 5 per cent of women in long-term relationships still haven’t told their partners about their gut issues.

And women aren’t just bothered by their IBS symptoms in the bedroom. 1 in 5 said they have had arguments with their partners because they’ve felt too bloated to go out. And, for 22 per cent of women, their symptoms had manifested into feelings of anxiety, depression and mood swings.

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Although there’s no ‘cure’ to IBS, there are a number of ways to make the uncomfortable issues associated with it more palatable. Tips include; exercise, cutting out fizzy drinks and giving the FODMAP diet a go. It’s recommended to try these on the advice of your GP or dietician.

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