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Coloplast develops ostomy, continence, urology, wound and skin care products and services that make life easier for people with intimate healthcare needs.  

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Life with an ostomy

What is a stoma?

What is a stoma?

Understanding exactly what a stoma is and how it is created is an important first step in coming to grips with how it might affect your daily life. Understanding what an ostomy is

What is a stoma?

A stoma is the result of an operation that is meant to remove disease and relieve symptoms. It is an artificial opening that allows feces or urine either from the intestine or from the urinary tract to pass.

The stoma is created from the end of the intestine, which is brought to the surface of your abdomen to form the stoma (opening). 

Download relevant stoma guides:

Daily life with an ostomy

Daily life with an ostomy

If you're new to having an ostomy, it's natural to have a lot of questions. It will take time to adjust to life with an ostomy. But there’s no reason why it should stop you doing most of the things you already do! Coloplast has the resources and the product to help you get back to doing the things you love! Daily life with an ostomy

Wondering how your stoma might affect daily life?

After your ostomy surgery you will need some time to recover. This is perfectly normal, and the time needed will vary from person to person. Your stoma will change in the first weeks following surgery, in terms of both size and output. You may lose or gain weight in these weeks.

Get started with a pouching system
Having a stoma means you have no control over when you defecate or, in the case of a urostomy, when you urinate. This means that you always need to wear a pouching system to collect your output.


View pouching product solutions and request free samples

Healthy skin
In order for your pouching system to adhere properly, it is very important to keep the skin around your stoma healthy. When the pouch is attached correctly, there is no risk of smell from your ostomy and less risk of skin irritation. Before you leave the hospital, you will be trained in how to choose and manage your ostomy pouching system and how to take care of your skin.


View our Brava Accessories- a range of ostomy accessories designed to reduced leakage and take care of your skin.

What about food and drink?
In general you can eat and drink as normal. Try to see how your ostomy reacts to different foods. Your WOC nurse, surgeon or physician will advise if you need to take special precautions.

In general, your ostomy shouldn't keep you from working, socializing, playing sports, traveling or other hobbies. Your general state of health – physically as well as mentally – will play a big role in determining your quality of life as you move forward.

Talk about it
Talk about itNothing is more helpful than someone who really understands what you are going through. You are certainly not alone – the number of people with a stoma worldwide is 1.9 million. Your local patient organization is one way of meeting peers to get handy tips, inspiration and personal support.


Enroll in Coloplast® Care and receive customized support 


Find the ostomy products that are best for you!

The tools below will help you find the best product for you and your body.

You can also call one of our product specialists at 1-855-385-3991 for help with product samples.

Bladder and Bowel

At Coloplast, we understand the importance that finding the product that fits your needs. The right product should help you manage your symptoms, but not restrict you or limit you from certain activities or living the lifestyle you want. Our products are designed with that in mind. We offer a wide range of product solutions that make managing your symptoms easier and more convenient. 

Urinary problems are typically caused by a dysfunction in the urinary system.

How the bladder and urinary system works

The bladder and urinary system includes all the parts of the body that produce and store urine. Bladder problems are typically caused by a dysfunction in the urinary system. Learn how the urinary system works

How the bladder works

Urine is produced in the kidneys, and flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters. The bladder stores urine until the urethra carries it out of the body. This flow, from the bladder to the urethra, is controlled by the urethral sphincters, which open and close the bladder outlet. The sphincters, in turn, are controlled by the pelvic floor muscles. The healthy bladder expels urine in a controlled, usually voluntary fashion, and the average person urinates 4-8 times a day. 


Bladder activity is regulated by the central and peripheral nervous systems. You feel the need to urinate when the stretch receptors in the bladder tell the brain that the bladder is full. However, with bladder dysfunction, you may not be able to inhibit the urge to pass urine. Problems with the bladder may result in urinary incontinence or urine retention.

Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. There are different types of urinary incontinence, each with different symptoms and causes.

Urinary retention

Urinary retention can be caused by an obstruction in the urinary tract, a bladder muscle weakness or by a neurogenic condition e.g. multiple sclerosisspinal cord injury or spina bifida all of which interfere with signals between the brain and the bladder, resulting in a dysfunction in the urinary system.

Neurogenic bladder

Neurological conditions can cause damage to the nervous system affecting the bladder and resulting in urinary retention (see above) or an overactive bladder which has symptoms of both urge incontinence and leakage. 

Find out more

Learn more about neurogenic bladdersymptoms and causes of urinary retention and urinary incontinence.

There are a number of available options to manage urinary problems depending on your condition.

Taking care of your bladder

Keeping your bladder healthy is important. There are different options available to you to help manage bladder problems depending on your condition. How to take care of your bladder

Taking care of your bladder

Bladder problems must be properly managed, if left untreated they could result in serious health issues. 

There are many options available to help manage bladder problems:

Pelvic floor exercises

Pelvic floor exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to help reduce urinary incontinence.

  • Slowly contract and lift the pelvic floor muscles and hold the position for five seconds, then release
  • Quickly contract and release the pelvic floor muscles

You will need to do the exercises regularly and it may take several months before you see a significant improvement.

Bladder retraining

Bladder retraining to help reduce urinary incontinence aims to gradually stretch the bladder so that it can hold larger volumes of urine.


Clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) is an effective bladder management technique based on the regular and complete emptying of the bladder by using a catheter. People who catheterize to empty their bladder typically need to do so 4-6 times a day.  Learn more about Coloplast catheters for men and women).


Remember, users performing self-catheterization should always follow the advise of their healthcare provider.

Collecting systems (for men)

For men who leak urine (male incontinence), male external catheters (often called “urisheaths” or “condom catheters”) are an effective and comfortable solution to manage leakage. The male external catheter is worn over the penis and is connected to a urine bag fastened to the leg. Learn more about Coloplast products for male incontinence.

Lifestyle changes

For some people, managing symptoms may include lifestyle changes such as changing  the diet to reduce constipation or reducing the consumption of caffeinated beverages. Planning out fluid intake at certain times may also be helpful so the need to urinate is more convenient and doesn’t coincide with excursions in public or sleeping at night.


Drugs and medications are prescribed for all types of incontinence, but they are generally most useful for urge incontinence, particularly when combined with pelvic floor exercises and bladder training. Stress incontinence is usually managed without medication.


A variety of surgical procedures are available for the treatment of bladder problems. Deciding which procedure, if any, you use depends on the type and cause of incontinence.

Find out more*

A number of Coloplast products are available to help manage bladder problems:

*Users performing self-catheterization should follow the advice of their physician. 

** These are general guidelines meant to help you with typical questions you have about bladder issues and management. You should always follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider and the bladder management solution you use.

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