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What is taboo for you?

It seems we can talk about anything in times when anything goes on docusoaps and talk shows. Barriers no long exist.
But TV doesn’t reflect reality. We still have a few taboo topics to overcome.

Topics we consider appropriate for discussion change over time. TENA decided therefore to study what Frenchmen, Englishmen, Germans, and Americans rank as "awkward” topics including body odour, yeast infections, depression and above all, our attitudes to bladder weakness. They phoned people 18-years old and older and asked them to rank the various topics on a five-grade scale ranging from ‘very uncomfortable talking about this topic’ to ‘very comfortable talking about this topic’.

You might think no taboo topics exist after watching one talk show after another with their endless arrays of perhaps “chocking” topics. And we certainly have broken through some barriers over time.

Taboos over time

It used to be that miscarriage was something we did not talk about. TENA’s study shows that today most people feel it is perfectly natural to talk about it. Other examples are divorce and depression. Today, these topics rank second and third on the list of topics we feel comfortable talking about, according to TENA’s study. We are most comfortable discussing dandruff.

The results were actually quite homogeneous, with the different countries ranking almost identically. While Americans and Frenchmen had a great deal in common and shared basically the same level of “awkwardness” regardless of topic, the Germans felt overall more awkward talking about all topics.

Were there any differences between men and women? In respect to such a female-oriented topic as menopause, both German and American men agreed it is OK to talk about menopause. Only French men found it to be an uncomfortable topic. A comparison between men and women naturally revealed that women were more comfortable than men discussing menopause.

Only our delusions remain

Figures concerning impotence were very different. Both men and women agreed: very uncomfortable. Impotence ranked at the bottom with the lowest points (indicating very uncomfortable). French men were most comfortable discussing the topic.

Our survey indicated strong taboo still exists in respect to bladder weakness. When you think about it, this is strange actually since one out of three women have at some time experienced it. But no one talks about it. This feeds our delusions that it only happens to older women and is part of aging, we cannot do anything about it and protection is big and bulky.

Figures concerning impotence were very different. Both men and women agreed: very uncomfortable. ”

Break the silence


“We will work even harder to spread information about bladder weakness and the fact that it is not primarily associated with aging. We need to get the message out there that pregnancy is actually one of the most common causes. And that the condition is so common that several people in your social circle have probably experienced it. Most importantly, we need to tell; you are not alone and there is help,” says xx at TENA.

Help comes in difference shapes and sizes, such as contraction exercises and protection the size of panty liners and sanitary towels. The difference is this that a protection is designed to handle urine and odour. TENA Lady Mini, for example, absorbs twice as much and locks wetness four times better than a leading thin sanitary towel.

“Women with leakage problems feel confident, since TENA Lady Mini is discreet, fresh and totally reliable. The product allows them to live the life they want to live without being limited by bladder weakness. But we will continue our efforts to overcome this taboo,” says xx in closing.

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