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10th Jul 2022

Social experiment finds pregnant women regularly refused the use of public toilets

Melissa Carton

This is shocking.

A social experiment has found that pregnant women are refused the use of public toilets more than anyone else.

The experiment conducted by bladder weakness brand TENA discovered that not only are expectant mums regularly refused the use of toilets in establishments like cafes and restaurants, but they are refused more than men and those accompanied by children.


Two things often associated with pregnancy are morning sickness and the constant need to pee, both of which require the use of a bathroom.

It came as a shock to me then when I came across the findings of this study and read that pregnant women have the hardest time gaining access to public toilets unless they make a purchase on the premises.

Ok, fair enough, most shops and cafes expect you to be a customer before you use their facilities but when other people who are not paying customers can make use of the toilets but pregnant women can’t, it raises questions.

According to Netmums, the test saw four people, a businessman, an unwell man, a mum and daughter, and a pregnant woman attempt to use the toilets of a public premises without buying anything.

The results of the social experiment saw the businessman turned away twice, the mum and daughter turned away twice, the unwell man turned away once, while the pregnant woman was refused three times, the most refusals of all of the participants.

To be honest this is something I never experienced while I was pregnant and I haven’t heard of any mums that I know being refused the loo while expecting so I found the results surprising.

I’m not quite sure why they would be turned away the most as I had always assumed it would be the opposite way around and a mum-to-be would always be allowed to use the toilets if in dire need.

Having been pregnant twice myself, when you have to go, you have to go and I hope the premises that refused the pregnant woman during this study will be more considerate in the future.