Wearing jeans with an ileostomy: tips needed!

Oct 02, 2020 9:15 pm

Newbie here, with a question. I've read and watched videos of people wearing jeans with their stomas. Do you have to wear a stoma cap to do this? How do you keep from squeezing the life out of the stoma? I'm not sure how high waist jeans would work either...like I said, new to this and not sure how to get past having to wear leggings all the time. Any help would be great :)

Oct 02, 2020 10:52 pm

Hi, Juniper - and "Welcome!", from another newbie

If you're female, check out the forum topic, "Perfect pants for ladies" - you may get some ideas for comfortable bottoms, there.

Make it an amazing weekend!: )


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Oct 02, 2020 11:20 pm

In my ostomy in-person group, many had stretchy jeans. I took old jeans and cut out the zipper and part of the area where my stoma is and replaced it with stretchy fabric. No one sees it and my jeans looked great. Normally, I wear dresses, but if I'm going horseback riding, I like my jeans on.

Oct 02, 2020 11:44 pm

I like the girls in the catalogs wearing overalls. I was thinking of some for myself, but I can only find painter pants.

Past Member
Oct 02, 2020 11:58 pm

Hi there, Juniper,

First of all, a stoma cap is something that one wears after irrigating, instead of the regular flange and pouch appliance. It isn't something you would ever wear without irrigating first. If you are new to having an ostomy, I would suggest that you wear whatever is most comfortable for you right now, knowing that your body will change over time. I wear regular jeans all the time, and I don't have any issues with it. It doesn't bother my stoma at all. But it took me a long time to be able to wear anything that wasn't stretchy. You may be able to do it sooner. Everyone is different, so there are no hard and fast timelines. I would suggest that you try on different clothes every once in a while and see how it feels. You'll know when you're ready. Good luck.


Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Oct 03, 2020 1:02 am

Laurie... my stoma lands right where my jean waistband lies. How can you do that? I wish I could wear normal ones again.

Oct 03, 2020 1:21 am

I think it mostly depends on whether your stoma is an innie, flush, or outtie, and the positioning of the stoma relative to jean waistband. Mine is relatively flush with my peristomal skin, so I use a convex wafer and have never had issues wearing jeans or anything else. In fact, I'm even able to backpack and my pack belt rides directly on top of the stoma, yet has never caused a problem. I'm certain this would not be the case if my stoma protruded an inch or more, in which case, I'd try the stoma guard. Having said that, I love working in overalls for the freedom of movement. So if you're on the job, I'd definitely recommend some Carhartt overalls.

Past Member
Oct 03, 2020 2:50 am

Oh no! Bad planning on your surgeon's part! Guess you will have to wear low-rise pants.


Oct 03, 2020 4:19 am

I showed him where to put it, but he placed it according to how much small intestine he could salvage. 

Oct 03, 2020 8:30 am

I searched a long time before finding jeans that i could wear comfortably.  They are high-waisted so that they ride over my stoma.  Stoma placement is so crucial and it's unfortunate that more surgeons don't understand or consider this.  I've also turned to overalls, perhaps a more masculine than feminine solution.  Also, scrubs or scrub-like pants with just a drawstring waist.

Past Member
Oct 03, 2020 2:05 pm

I have an ileostomy, so a stoma cap would be out of the question for me to wear unless for a very short time. But I am lucky; a nurse sited my stoma before surgery, wearing my jeans, so my stoma is high waistband on jeans or anything else aren't a problem.

I've read a lot in the past about women wearing maternity jeans to get around the problem if the stoma is sited low.

Oct 03, 2020 2:55 pm

I thought about maternity jeans... as long as I can fib without laughing and tell them I'm pregnant!!! Now that would be a true miracle. Or I could just eat Twinkies for a month... naaa, I like the fibbing better. If I go and she dare ask me when I'm due walking in, God help her. ......continued later!

Oct 03, 2020 3:58 pm

Unfortunately, my stoma is an outie and sits below my belly button, so I'm guessing from what you guys have said, maybe maternity pants or jeans with the waist above it. I wish my surgeon would have placed it a little better, but he was more concerned in getting my colon out since it was perforated in 3 different spots, and about to kill me. So I can't be too mad at him :)

Will the stoma/bag be alright inside pants as long as they aren't tight??

Thank you all so much!!

Oct 03, 2020 4:10 pm

Good question, Juniper. Mine is an outie also. Mine sits about 1/2 inch above my belly button. Wearing low rise jeans just feels like they are falling off. I wear mostly dresses or elastic waist slacks or cut my jeans and insert a soft stretchy fabric. I'm going to try on the maternity jeans like Henry suggested. I love overalls, but I have a high output ileostomy and that's a lot of wasted time emptying. I wish mine was in a different spot, but you're so right... we're alive.

Oct 03, 2020 4:13 pm

Correction... it was Panther! 

Oct 05, 2020 3:52 am

My stoma is about 1 inch below my belly button. I wear mid or high rise jeans with a little spandex and maybe go up one size. This allows my bag to grow a little.

Oct 07, 2020 1:55 am

Hi Juniper,

My stoma is about an inch below my waist. I wear regular panties that cover it all and none of my jeans, low-waisted or high-waisted, have irritated it. Of course, I don't think you would want the band that was extremely tight over the stoma.

Right now, it is tough to go shopping to try new styles because of Covid. Most dressing rooms are still closed but are opening up soon. Go try them and wear what is comfortable!

Oct 10, 2020 6:23 pm

Hi Juniper -

I got my ileostomy almost 5 years ago. I am thin, or shall I say sleek; my stoma is about 2 inches below my belly button. I found that tight jeans, or tight anything around the pouch, does not work! I have some slim fitting jeans, and the key is to make sure you have plenty of air in the pouch! Not so much that it looks like a balloon, but enough that the effluent can make its way down in the pouch. Of course, you can give it a little check every now and then. Be sure to empty when you feel it starting to fill. I generally wear a top over the waist - no more tucking in and belts. So, order a few pairs online and return them if need be. But remember, air is your friend!

Casey & George
Oct 10, 2020 9:03 pm

Hi Juniper72. I use Coloplast Mio 2-piece snap-to-click bags. I am able to rotate the bag so it is sideways across my belly. I have pictures on my page. I use an ostomy belt and use a ribbon or rubber band to connect the bottom end. You can probably do this with other brands as long as you have some way to connect the bottom end. If you don't want to do this, I think you can wear high-waisted jeans as long as they are a larger size. Same with Spanx. My problem is gas and watery output, so I have to empty frequently. I am able to empty without problems, even with the bag sideways.

Oct 10, 2020 9:21 pm

Hi Juniper.  
My  stoma is also an outie and sits a couple of inches to the right of  my belly button. I wear a convex wafer (because the area around it is  dished) maybe that's an option for you? The convexity of the wafer allows there to be space between my jeans and stoma. It wasn't planned - I also was  not given a choice of its location - but it worked in my favor.

I almost always wear jeans and leggings - and sometimes even shapewear under dresses on special occasions. Just be sure to empty often enough that the bag doesn't get too full so you avoid leaks.  

Oct 13, 2020 12:40 am

Your bag, depending on the maker, can be rotated. It doesn't have to be vertical down... it can be horizontal and well hidden. Use a wrap though. Sometimes I like it down for ease of draining... while other times, like dressing up, I go horizontal. Big change in appearance and confidence. Warrior.

Past Member
Oct 16, 2020 3:26 am

As others have said, it depends on where your stoma is. I find jeggings and jeans with "stretch" or spandex work well for me. I also size up if needed so it's not too tight across the stoma and have had pants altered to fit better through the legs without being too tight in the hip/waist.

Frog Pond
Oct 18, 2020 12:03 am


We men struggle with the same problem. Here is my post from earlier this year:

I had my ileostomy in March 2018. Since then I have not been able to wear my pants fully closed and needed suspenders to keep them up and a long shirt to cover my bag and provide sufficient modesty. I also need to constantly wear a t-shirt to keep the suspenders off of my shoulders. My stoma is right at my waist and a belt would go right across it. Since my ileostomy is so active, I cannot keep it tightly confined.

Yesterday I went looking for "hiphuggers" pants that would fasten below my flange. I found a pair of LEVIS 502 REGULAR TAPER at Kohl's department store. They are designed to ride low on the hips. These, so far, seem to be the solution. I normally wear 38-32 but because they are worn low, fit great at 36-30. They are pricey at $69.50 but were on sale for $41 yesterday.

Wishing you well. Things will become easier in time. This has been a very informative and helpful site.

Past Member
Nov 20, 2020 8:26 pm

Hi Juniper,

I discovered jeggings after my surgery and never looked back. They act as a good support for the bag too!

Past Member
Jul 01, 2021 12:11 am

First thing you need to do is learn everything about your digestive process, you are the colon now. Need to know how, when, and how much comes out. You should be able to tell beforehand what the bag is going to do. Start with a journal, become a food scientist, and figure this out. I know what everything does inside and when anything happens and how. I know all foods, what to eat before each activity, lean meat, chicken works.
So, this way there are no worries with it filling up, or not, you know now what will come out and when, and how. Knowing this, I have a long appliance with a tip at the very bottom, the best appliance for all activities. So, I wear pants, sometimes, and the buckle is about where the tip is. So, if anything falls, there is plenty of space between the appliance and the tip, no leaks, I wear a waist belt, like for exercise, cut it to be discreet, and place it over. Because I have control and knowledge of what happens, if I am out doing an activity, I know when to eat, or drink, if I fast until after I am done with whatever activity at hand. I eat after intimacy. I eat lean protein to make me full days of intimacy, all done in two hours. Then, I have no hunger the rest of the day, then I have fun the rest of the day, and eat after. You need a plan, tons confidence, and attitude. Best wishes, become the master of your domain, control your digestion, do not let it control you, and find the right appliance, the world is an oyster after that, you can have it all and a full life after you master this, as I have and I do.