Feeling the Urge to Poop with an Ostomy Bag: Is This Normal?

May 25, 2024 12:07 pm

I got my ostomy bag a month ago. I regularly feel like I need to poo, and unsurprisingly, only a drop comes out. Does anyone else get this urge?

May 25, 2024 12:23 pm


Your intestines produce mucus to aid in moving food along as it's slowly digested.

Your remaining rectal stump continues producing this mucus, which you will "poop out" occasionally. This is normal.

Usually, only a small amount comes out.

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May 25, 2024 12:37 pm
Reply to Beachboy

Yes, I understand that, but does anyone feel a strong urge throughout the day to poo?

May 25, 2024 1:19 pm

You mentioned that it has only been a month since your ostomy; therefore, it is not totally surprising since your body has to adjust. I was alarmed when it happened to me because on multiple occasions I did poo out my anus. The surgeon told me not to worry; it was just residual left in my colon after surgery.

May 25, 2024 1:57 pm

Yes... I do get a strong urge to poop. In fact, sometimes it hurts a little. I'm 17 months post-op. I pass mucus every couple of days, sometimes once a day.

I get checked by my colorectal surgeon every 6 months. He checks my rectal stump, looking for abnormalities and bleeding.

My colostomy is permanent. I could get Ken Butt surgery to remove my useless anus and rectum, but I never suffered from ulcerative colitis, Crohn's, or cancer. So no need to remove it. Just gotta have it checked occasionally.

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May 25, 2024 10:09 pm
Reply to Beachboy

Thank you for sharing. I think I'm worried I'm going to give myself a hemorrhoid trying to push out a poo that never comes.

May 26, 2024 2:03 am

Don't strain. If it does not come out, wait awhile, let it build up. It will come out eventually.

It takes several months before your body adapts to an ostomy and you recover from surgery.

May 26, 2024 7:23 am

Hi Vic,

One month is nothing. I seem to recall a similar thing. Your body is still freaking out and trying to find its way. Time should remove the urge you speak of.

May 26, 2024 10:53 am
Reply to vicowling88

Yes, I do. It's called tenesmus. With me, though, I have some inflammation in my rectum that is most likely causing it along with blood mixed in with mucus. I have ulcerative colitis. I've been prescribed some prednisolone suppositories that I've been taking for around 5 days, which has reduced the constant urge to go to the toilet all day a bit. I've been told by IBD nurses that I need to give the medication a full 2 weeks to establish whether I'm responding well to them or not.

May 26, 2024 2:28 pm

A question on my mind, as well, so I'll be following. I never had that mucus passing. I'm 6 months post-op for ileostomy. Yesterday, a first: felt the strong urge to have a BM, sat on the toilet, passed what looked like a dark yellow, soft stool. About 1/4 cup. Also, a bit of pink blood on wiping. I sent a note to my ostomy care team but would like to hear from anyone with a similar experience.

May 26, 2024 2:32 pm
Reply to Henry44

Henry, what your rectum is experiencing is proctitis. Very common. I had that and it was controllable through medication over the years. Until it wasn't. It got worse and the rectum developed Crohn's. So that is something you need to look into.

You might be delaying the inevitable. Like I was, and the cost would be side effects of those oral meds. It took me 6 years in limbo waiting for proctitis to calm down. 6 years! Pre-stoma.

Like many temp ileos, hook up later was the plan. Direct connect to rectum.

Just wasn't in the cards.

Anyway, do keep an eye out for Crohn's in the rectum. Might consider removal and options. That goes for anyone else with a temp ileo and bloody output. Just caution.

May 26, 2024 3:11 pm
Reply to warrior

Thanks, warrior. Yes, I did suspect it is proctitis and the other condition I've read about is diversion colitis. It's weird. After my sub-total colectomy to remove my large bowel, I was hoping to get my life back after the horrors of full-blown ulcerative colitis. No such luck because of the rectum problems.

I've got a sigmoidoscopy on Tuesday and I'm hoping this gives a diagnosis or at least more information about what's going on in there. I'm hoping I respond to medication and it keeps the inflammation and feeling of urgency to go to the toilet in check for a while. However, I don't want to be on steroid suppositories for a long time and was wondering if I might be able to switch to mesalazine suppositories if I don't respond to prednisolone. However, I'm aware that surgery is the only way to permanently fix this issue.

I'm on stage 1 of surgery treatment for UC as they call it. The next stage (I think is either a J-Pouch if I'm eligible, but with an inflamed rectum, I'm not sure). The other is proctectomy (I think that's what it's called) and removing my rectum and anus and sewing my bottom up! Both options freak me out to be honest, although I'm more inclined towards proctectomy as J-Pouch just seems to be too problematic. I would just like to be healthy and well (as we all do!), but it seems at times this is too much to ask for!

May 27, 2024 2:06 am
Reply to Henry44

I get what you mean about hoping to be healthy... or healthier. I tell that to myself every new year and like this year, like last year, both sucked.

But... you know it's a process... which includes elimination. And in our case, eliminating the diseased colon... we got to have hope for that healthier time. But the road has a few speed bumps, so proceed slowly.

It's almost 6 months into the new year... and... I will say it again... "this will be the year."

Half of the year is gone, but I still have hope. Never give up, dude. Research pays off... consider your options.

Talk to members.

Our day... our years are coming.


Jun 01, 2024 8:39 pm

That happened to me in the beginning. Really odd feeling! Doctor told me it was quite normal. The feeling did go away eventually.