Why "Women's Laxative"?

I saw something today that started me wondering… why are there special “women’s” laxatives? How can our intestinal tracts be that different from men’s that we need our own special laxative? And what happenes if a man takes a “woman’s” laxative? Is this just some kind of strange marketing ploy?

It’s all marketing. The active ingredient in Correctol (advertised as the “woman’s laxative”) is bisacodyl, a stimulant laxative also sold under the trade name Dulcolax. There is another formulation of Correctol that contains docusate, a stool softener. Both can be used safely and effectively in males, as well.

KSPharm, RPh

I’ve also heard of hemorroid [sp?] medications marketed specifically for women. I guess guys are just stuck with the ‘generic’ stuff :smiley:

The same thing with men’s and women’s deodorant. I just buy the cheaper one and the men’s version is usually the cheapest.

Yeah, but the guys’ deodorant smells like overripe monkey butt. If my underarms are gonna stink anyway, I’d rather save my money and just skip the deodorant altogether.

I seem to remember that Correctol has a coating on it to make it both easier to swallow and more palatable. Perhaps the other laxatives don’t have the same sort of coating, or their coatings taste foul?

So you’re saying guys like to smell like overripe monkey butt and take foul tasting medicined?

Well, for things like that, I can see it-- the difference is usually the fragrance. Men don’t want to smell flowery and women don’t want to smell like Old Spice. A lot of times, though, I will buy “men’s” toiletries (deodorant, shaving cream, etc.) if the scent is sufficiently unisex (lemon, unscented, or such). They usually are cheaper.

This reminds me of a poem I read as a child in a book called Poems For The John:

Little Wendel, cunning fox
Put Feen-A-Mint in a Chiclets box
His mother will smack him for his punning
Just as soon as she stops running

This deoderant thing just points out to me I’m getting old. At the gym they were giving out samples of a new men’s cologne/deodorant spray and I ended up with several and used them. I liked the smell. I never thought about if other people might think I smelled masculine. I have to get out more (but that’s hard in downeast Maine).

It seems likely that y’all’s intestines are indeed different than ours, because women have significantly greater incidences of irritable bowel syndrome and other intestinal problems. That’s led the drug manufacturers to testing their products primarily on women, so that’s who the FDA approvals apply to.


Also, it’s pink, which is apparently the universal marketing color for females.

And these preparations are also mild laxatives - fitting in with the stereotyping - not like the macho purgatives you take before a colonoscopy.

Well, there’s good reason it might be different: constipation is a not uncommon side effect of menstruation. But, I don’t think any of the laxatives currently marketed towards women consider this effect.