The survey, conducted for Cadbury on 2,000 UK women, also found that four in 10 women consider someone looking in their handbag as intrusively as someone reading their text messages.
Loo roll, spare knickers, chocolate and an iPod were found to be among the belongings most women carry with them in their handbags at all times.
Painkillers, sunglasses and nail files are also most likely to be found deep in the recesses of their holdalls, alongside more predictable items like money, a make-up bag and a diary.
Curiously, just 72 percent of women actually carry money or bank cards with them, the Daily Express reported.
It also found that while the average cost of a woman’s handbag is 96 pounds but the carry 40 items inside it that has a combined total of 110.25 pounds.