Rectal Mucus and Urges: Is This Normal?


New member/colostomy recipient (5/25/21) here. Hi!
My doc said that my remaining 4" of rectum would collect mucus. Shortly after I got home from the hospital, a blob of mucus landed in the toilet, but only that once.
Frequently, I have a powerful urge to eliminate normally from the rectum, but no means to do so. It feels like I'm going to soil my drawers, but nothing ever happens. Is this normal?


Yes.. It is normal.

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So, for the rest of ever? Does anything ever come out?

I appreciate your reply.


Because something came out once, and my doc said it would collect mucus, and because I'm new at this, I'm terrified to just relax my sphincter and trust that there will be no output.
When I get the feeling that in pre-colostomy time would have meant TOILET NOW, I run for the bathroom, but nothing.
This is as stupefying as learning to drive in a country that doesn't have stop signs. Not that I know of any countries like that...


It is strange how the doctors do not tell us about this issue... If you still have an anus, it will produce mucus sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. You will have to wear padding to protect your clothing. Maybe the other men on here can give you ideas. It is usually clear with no odor if you have no active disease.

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My doc said it will subside in a year. Is this true? Also, I welcome the experiences of "other" men, as I am a woman. Oh my! :-D


So sorry, I thought your name was Male Riffael Ralph. I look at names, forgive me. Maybe ask other folks, but in my experience, no. It has been 30 years. But we are all different.


Yes, it is quite normal. Every once in a while that happens to me, which is a strange feeling because I haven't used my rectum since 1988!! And when this happens, it's just that mucus but it smells like holy hell. It's just awful, but it doesn't happen often (thankfully). But yes, if you don't push it out, it will eventually just seep out on its own. My rectum was left intact (stapled off 8" up inside of me) so my ileostomy could one day be reversed. I doubt I'll ever do it now since it's been so long, but I was thinking about getting the J-Pouch at Cleveland Clinic. Hope this helps! :)


Hello riffael.
Thanks for your post expressing your concerns about this issue, and I'm pleased to see that you have already received some useful replies.
I am still expelling mucus years after my operation, but at least now it tends to be clear and much less obnoxious as far as 'smell' is concerned. The rate at which mucus gets expelled is not consistent and ranges from none at all on some days to excessive amounts on others. For this reason I wear incontinence pads to catch the excess amounts.
However, the standard inco-pads are not very efficient at quick absorbing of this mucus ( they were designed to absorb the more watery urine or faeces). For this reason, I use a folded up tissue to lodge between my buttocks; this absorbs the small amounts of mucus and slows down the larger amounts to give the inco-pads a fair chance of working.

Needless to say, this has been yet another of those annoying things in life that has prompted me to express my irritations in verse:
There are other past-posts on this subject if you are interested – they can be found in ‘COLLECTIONS –PREMIUM CONTENT’

Best wishes


If there’s one thing’ gives me the hump
it’s mucus from my rectal stump.
They did not tell me this would be
a side–effect of ostomy.

With no faeces coming through
no way did I expect this goo.
It is so inconvenient
that I am still incontinent.

I thought that this would be all cured
once my ostomy matured.
However, it’s not gone away
and I fear it’s here to stay.

Sometimes brown and sometime white
but mixed with blood is never right.
Then there’s yellow and there’s cream
which will flood out like a stream.

Sometimes it’s soft and sometimes hard
sometimes it’s slippery just like lard.
Occasionally I’ll get a chunk
but mostly it will look like gunk.

The mucus used to irritate
and refused to irrigate.
That method didn’t work so well
although it minimised smell.

When I reflect I must admit
sometimes I get fed up with it.
For I was not expecting this
every time I have a piss.

With both a plug and inco’ pad
you’d think it would not feel so bad.
But I still moan and I will grump
about the mucus from my stump.

                                   B. Withers 2012


Like others, I still have mucus discharge. Advice from my doctor was to bear down when on the toilet to release the mucus. And I think I have read that mucus, if allowed to build up, will become a hard ball which can cause you a problem. I think some of the problem I have of feeling I want to go to the toilet may be linked to the IBS I had before my colonoscopy.

I also use an incontinence pad (UK always large) and carry a spare, though the incidence of involuntary discharge is rare in my case. But I do have toilet urges quite often.

My operation was in 2018 and as far as I can see, as long as I am processing body waste, then the natural function of waste lubrication will continue, but hopefully not.




It's normal to pass mucus and over time you will get to know when you need to pass it. Please let us know how you get on. XX


Hi Riffael,

As others have said... it's normal and will taper off to infrequently. For me, I get the same urge I used to get when I was connected and just find a toilet. Not much ever comes out, and being 7 years post-op, I'd say I get the urge once, maybe twice a month tops. Don't seem to need a pad or diaper or anything... just take a seat when I get the urge. Maried is right... it is amazing what the docs and surgeons DON'T tell you about an ostomy before you get one. Someone should write a book!




Hi Riff

I am glad to see you found this site. There is a wealth of info available here.

It is strange to see what people were/weren't told about what to expect after ostomy surgery. I was warned about rectal mucus but no training on how to deal with wafers/bags/routines/diet/blow outs etc.

I was lucky enough to be reversed after 3.5 months but never had any rectal drainage. I did have sensation of needing to go to the bathroom

Good luck



I also have mucus discharge, mostly a little everyday, some days more. It does have a bad smell. I do wear disposable underwear and I can feel when I need to go to the bathroom and clean most of the time.


The pouch still fills with sloughed cells and mucous. I was told to flush the pouch about every 6 months with an enema. I do it when the urge hits me (ha ha)

Reply to riffael

Well, the doctor lied. It won't go away until they remove the pouch. And in my experience, it's worse after a colonoscopy. Originally, in 2006, I was told to flush the pouch every 3-6 months. To ignore it could lead to it bursting inside. I used to be able to relax the sphincter and "poop" the plugs as needed. That was for the first eleven years. But during a scope surgery in 2017, the doctor broke the nerve. So now I get the urge to poop when my bladder is full. Which is kinda fine because my bladder nerve was broken during a previous surgery, and I was having accidents. Now I know that if I feel like I need to poop, I actually need to pee. I only have to wear pads after getting a scope, like this week. And by pad, I mean folded paper towels, 6 ply, because a menstrual pad doesn't absorb the gushing output fast enough. Oddly enough, I was told to use an enema to stop the "flushing," too, that it resets the pouch. So that's what I'm going to the store for today.

Reply to Bill

Very good, so true.

Past Member

I got my ileostomy in late January 2021. I still have rectal mucus and can poop it out. Unfortunately for me, I also have an anal/rectal fistula caused by an abscess that was drained on my bottom before the ileostomy, so it leaks out every day/night. Because of this, my ileostomy is permanent. I'm honestly not too bothered by it considering how sick I was from ulcerative colitis. I wear a men's tampon-like pad.


Thank you all for sharing your experiences!


Hi Riff, I read your post, and all the great feedback from other ostomates. I had the rectal stump after my ileostomy, for about 4 years, until the doctors finally removed it, with much pressure from me. I still had active disease (ulcerative colitis), so besides the "normal" mucus moisture, I had blood as well, very messy, especially when I had my period. I needed to use the extra long maternity sanitary napkins to absorb the "mess". I was also taking rectal medication in the form of enemas, so there was always some sort of leakage, as well as the pressure of having to "poop". But it was never much. When I didn't have my period, I used a piece of cotton or part of a menstrual pad, tucked between the buttocks. Just have to do what feels comfortable for you. And yes, I did have urges to need to "poop". There were enough nerve endings left to have that sensation. It's now 50 years later, and I had the rectal stump removed. There are still times that I have the "urge" to poop, but that's just a feeling that comes when I've been sitting at a certain angle for too long. Back in the day, there were no stoma nurses, and doctors left care and maintenance of the ostomy to nurses or to other ostomates, who would visit patients upon request. I did that with other young children who had the surgery, back when I was in my 20's. Today, there are more specialists around, but few of them have ostomies. I find that I get the best ideas from other ostomates. Best of luck to you. Marsha

Reply to PghQueen

Mucus is one thing. Bloody mucus is something wrong. I bled for months after my ilio.. Dr said normal. What a shit head he is. Been bleeding for four years and it's normal? Duh. So.. Mucus clear and plain is normal.. But blood means you got activity.. Like I do.. This is Crohn's in the rectum. Not good. Gonna need a removal and ken butt soon.. Meds are helping but we all know meds over time will cause other problems. Can't wait for that!! It's useless having a "stump".. Hate to think more surgery.. But.. Good luck.. Keep an eye on it.. And I do use 4 by 4 pads as a protection method.. Just stick in there into cheeks.. Won't last all day.. And remember when changing the pad to wipe clean.. I use baby wipes.. Then put another 4X4 between the cheeks.. It sucks. It smells.. Haven't sat on a toilet in 4 years. Good luck.. Warrior


Yes, it is called phantom rectum. I have it every day. It is quite painful, the cramps, but no reward for all the cramps and pushing except a little mucus sometimes.


Hi Riffael, I have made many trips to the bathroom, even hoping mucus will at least come out. Rarely, it does for me. Let me say this, when it does, well, it is pungent beyond any poop, gas, or anything else that can come out of a human. Pu pu pu..... My youngest daughter will cut one like Free Willy at home, where farting is just fine. Time and again, it brings back the good old days of me pooting or farting or letting one go. I admit, I am a little envious. So today, she was taking me to the doctor's office and Stella had some gas in my bag. I opened it right up, let her get the aroma of a hardcore one. Lol, I laughed so hard because I don't know what came over me to do the deed.... I said, "How was it, Jenny?" She couldn't get the window down fast enough. She just said, "Ohhhhh Momma, it's so bad..." Carol.B


LOL! Thanks for that story, Carol! I'm still waiting for a productive urge.


That's so funny XX

Reply to Maried

I have that same problem and yes, it's normal. You got the urge to pass stool in the rectum, but you know it can't.


Thank you, #HighlyFavored.

Past Member
Reply to riffael

I had an ileostomy last year which has since been revised. At the time that I had my surgery, they told me that it would happen and that I would feel the urge to defecate. It will most likely go on forever, is what they told me, and there would occasionally be a discharge of mucus.

Mauly Parker
Reply to riffael

Yup - been 8 months with a colostomy. Had the urge several times, first time today pooped a mucus plug. Feel so much better!

Reply to Mauly Parker

Hi, Mauly-
It's been five months for me. The urge seems to be lessening in frequency, but I still have not produced one bit since the original early-on mucus plop.

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