Tips For Dealing With A Stoma Bag Leaking In Public

Tips For Dealing With A Stoma Bag Leaking In Public

When a leak takes you by surprise

Last week, whilst ushering Callum out of the door to school, I felt a wet warm rush down my leg. My first thought was that I had wet myself, but on closer inspection my bag had sprung a nasty leak. Thankfully it had happened just before leaving the house, so I was able to pop in the shower and change before heading out. Unfortunately, however, leaks aren’t always so well timed. With the weather warming up it’s likely that you’ll be spending more time out and about, sometimes in places where there isn’t a toilet in sight. So just in case a leak takes you by surprise – here are my ‘life saving’ tips to make sure you are well prepared to deal with a stoma bag leaking in public.

Tip 1. You can never stash too many napkins

Whenever I’m out for coffee or a sandwich, I always grab a couple of extra napkins to stash in various handbags and coat pockets. That way if I ever feel my bag starting to leak whilst on the move, I can quickly dive into the nearest inconspicuous place knowing that my conveniently stashed napkins are readily available for me to stuff into place. This buys valuable time to find a toilet where I can then deal with the leak properly.

Tip 2. A quick fix barrier

The sanitary towels with wings are another handy item to have about your person. If the leak hasn’t yet breached the edge of the flange you can attach the towel sticky side down to temporarily trap the leak in. Position it half on the flange and half on your skin. The adhesive on these bad boys is very strong and the towel will provide an extra barrier for the leak to get through, giving you extra time to find a safe haven to change your pouch.

Tip 3. If caught out, blame the coffee

The most important thing to remember is that if someone sees a brown stain on your clothing, the last thing they’ll suspect it to be is poop. Generally others will just assume you’re a very clumsy individual who has spilt coffee or food down themselves. So keep your head held high and try your best not to panic too much, but if asked… blame it on coffee.

Stephie keeps a stoma leak emergency kit close by. See her essential items here

by Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

About the author

My name is Michelle; I live in Kent with my husband and son. I have a permanent ileostomy as a result of Ulcerative Colitis. You can follow me on twitter.

Recent Comments

  • Claire

    So refreshing! I will be an ardent follower.

  • Michelle Williams

    Thank you Claire, I look forward to having you along for the journey. Sonikmummy x

  • Elizabeth Brunen

    Thanks for sharing love
    I worry about leaks having had a few...and usually afraid to leave the house.
    Unless my son.is with me.

    An understanding young man

  • albert mendel

    thank you for shareing im knew at all of this. i hate it.

  • Peggy

    Hi Clare, I have a permanent ileostomy due to Bowel cancer. I have had a bag for 9 months and just recently I have been having leaks from the top of my bag. It’s very embarrassing and I’m losing confidence whenever I go out. I am going on a holiday in a few weeks and will be traveling by coach so I am worried if I have leaks from my bag. Up until now I haven’t had any problems so not sure why this is happening.

  • Kevin Crandon

    I have had terrible leakage which Stoma nurses could not solve, I however got hold of Brava Elastic Tape these little beauties solved a lot of the problems as in I could go may be 8 hours without leakage or even as low as 2 hours before, but with these beauties I can go 48 hrs without a problem. I was feeling really depressed but these are a life saver. Only people going through these problems know what I mean so try them. I tried everything the Stoma nurses suggested without success. Please try this as I’m sure you will find a great difference.

  • hilary

    has anyone found any continence products for leaking stomas or tried gel capsules i have seen on internet to try to bulk the waste up a bit? all comments welcome please

  • SecuriCare_Team

    @hilary - There are a number of gelling products available and we're sure others will be along shortly to share their experiences with these. You may like to try Morform - a gelling sachet from our sister company, CliniMed https://www.clinimed.co.uk/stoma-care/products/stoma-skin-care-and-accessories/morform . You can read reviews of the product over at the CliniMed website and order samples. Hope this helps!

  • Carl

    Has anyone ever had a urostomy pouch leak around the ring start pulling apart after first day pouch pulling loose from the ring?

  • pauline ellison

    my grandaughter is 12 yrs old and was born with her bowels on the out side so she has a stoma i find that if the area is dried correct no leaks so she changes her stoma bag every 4 hrs in between she empties it she had leaks but only when not fitting the stoma bag correctly

  • SecuriCare_Team

    Hi @Carl you may have had a faulty pouch or it could be that you may benefit from using a few skin cleansing products/pouch accessories to prevent leaks. Our sister company, CliniMed, has a range that you may like to try. https://www.clinimed.co.uk/stoma-care/products/stoma-skin-care-and-accessories.

    Best wishes,

    SecuriCare Team

  • Gwen

    Hi it has now been two years since i had my operation i have crohns disease i have a colostomy bag and a mucus fistula bag i will never get used to it there are days even now that it still leaks i still do all the above does not make a difference with what i eat and all the tablets i take i am now on my last nerve thanks for reading this can anyone suggest something please n ty

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Gwen, have you tried something like UltraFrame? https://www.clinimed.co.uk/stoma-care/products/stoma-skin-care-and-accessories/ultraframe-flange-extenders. This product is a flange extender and can help prevent leaks. Perhaps you need a different type of flange such as convex or profile? It would be worth discussing with your Stoma Care Nurse or giving our team a call for some advice.

  • Rosemary Bakhoum

    @Gwen sorry to hear about your problem with leaking. I would like to share my experience with you about my colostomy bag. This is what i do i hope it helps. first make sure your bag fits properly. I find that if i warm my bag and and the seal using my heating pad on a low setting so that its adheres better. I also use stoma powder but remember to use a little not to much. I also am sitting down on the toilet when i put my bag on so when i stand up there is less stress on the bag. And the brava strips are the best because your actually making a stronger seal around the bag. hope that helped you.

  • Dave

    I am new to this I have a permanent ileostomy I get leeks all the time my Frist opp I was all mark up then it was cancelled the next time I was not mark for the right site I ask was told it will be done but was not now it's in the wrong place and leeks all the time I really hate it

  • Patricia

    Hi.
    I only had my urostomy done 3weeks ago., so it is all new to me. Any tips would be very grateful.
    My biggest problem is with night bags. Hubby connects me up and I lay on my back and darent move in case I twist the back but I love to sleep on my left side but when I have tried I ended up with a wet bed. So fed up with it.
    Thanks Pat

Add a Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Enter your email address to join our email list

Message Sent

Thank you for submitting your enquiry. We will be in contact with you shortly