Ostomy Supplies: What You Need to Know

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Living with an ostomy can be challenging, but having the right supplies can make all the difference. An ostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening in the abdomen to allow waste to leave the body. This can be temporary or permanent and can result from a variety of medical conditions.
Ostomy Supplies

Types of Ostomy Supplies

Ostomy Bags

The most important ostomy supply is the bag. This is what collects the waste and keeps it contained. There are two main types of ostomy bags: one-piece and two-piece. One-piece bags have the bag and adhesive barrier combined, while two-piece bags have a separate adhesive barrier that attaches to the skin and a separate bag that attaches to the barrier.

Ostomy Pouch Covers

Ostomy pouch covers are designed to fit over the ostomy bag and provide an extra layer of protection. They can also be used for discretion and to help absorb moisture. These covers come in a variety of colors and patterns to suit personal style and preferences.

Ostomy Skin Barriers

Ostomy skin barriers are designed to protect the skin around the stoma from irritation and leakage. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit different body types and stoma sizes. Some are also designed for people with sensitive skin.

Ostomy Accessories

There are a variety of ostomy accessories available to make living with an ostomy more comfortable. These include belt extenders, ostomy deodorant, and irrigation supplies.

Choosing the Right Ostomy Supplies

Choosing the right ostomy supplies is important for comfort, convenience, and overall quality of life. Here are some factors to consider:

Body Type and Stoma Size

It's important to choose ostomy supplies that fit your body type and stoma size. Ill-fitting supplies can cause leakage, irritation, and discomfort. Measure your stoma and consult with your healthcare provider or an ostomy nurse to ensure you get the right size.


Your lifestyle also plays a role in choosing ostomy supplies. If you're active, you may need supplies that are more secure and provide better protection. If you travel frequently, you may need supplies that are more discreet and easy to pack.

Personal Preferences

Finally, personal preferences should also be considered when choosing ostomy supplies. The color, pattern, and style of ostomy bags and accessories can make a big difference in how you feel about your ostomy.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Ostomy Supplies


  • Ostomy supplies can increase comfort and quality of life.
  • They can provide protection against leakage and irritation.
  • They come in a variety of styles and options to suit personal preferences and lifestyles.


  • Ostomy supplies can be expensive, especially if they're not covered by insurance.
  • They require regular maintenance and replacement.
  • They can be uncomfortable or cause skin irritation if not fitted properly.


Q: How often do I need to change my ostomy bag?

A: This depends on the type of ostomy bag you have and your personal preference. Some people prefer to change their bag every day, while others can go a few days between changes. Consult with your healthcare provider or ostomy nurse for personalized recommendations.

Q: Can I swim with an ostomy bag?

A: Yes! Many ostomy bags are designed to be waterproof and can be worn while swimming or participating in water activities. Just be sure to check the manufacturer's recommendations and follow proper care and maintenance guidelines.

Q: Will having an ostomy affect my sex life?

A: Having an ostomy does not have to affect your sex life. With the right supplies and techniques, you can still enjoy intimacy and sexual activity. Talk to your healthcare provider or an ostomy nurse for tips and recommendations.

Q: Can I still eat my favorite foods with an ostomy?

A: Yes! While some foods may cause more gas or odor, there are no foods that are off-limits with an ostomy. Experiment with different foods and find what works best for you. It may be helpful to keep a food diary to track any reactions or symptoms.


Living with an ostomy can be challenging, but having the right supplies can make all the difference. From ostomy bags to skin barriers, there are a variety of supplies available to increase comfort, convenience, and quality of life. Consider your body type, lifestyle, and personal preferences when choosing ostomy supplies. And don't forget to consult with your healthcare provider or an ostomy nurse for personalized recommendations and tips.