Are you finding you’re changing your stoma bag often? How often is too much?

Please note the following is a guideline only.

  • If you wear a closed stoma bag, and you are changing your bag more than 3 times a day, this may be considered too much.
  • If you wear a drainable stoma bag, then this would be if you are changing your bag more than once a day (although emptying the stoma bag more often is normal).
  • If you wear a urostomy stoma bag, ‘too much’ would be if you are changing your bag more than every-other day.

If you are changing your stoma bag more frequently than usual, you may need to question why this is happening and consider changing to a different stoma bag or adding an accessory to your routine, to help increase your stoma bag’s longevity. Please remember to reach out to your stoma care nurse for their help and advice, so they can properly assess why you may be changing your bag more.

Why am I changing so much?

Leakage under the baseplate

If you are finding your output is getting under your baseplate or your skin is becoming itchy, sore, irritated, or even broken, then there may be something not right with the stoma bag or ostomy products that you are using.

Something to think about is when was the last time you measured your stoma? Stomas can change shape and size especially just after surgery and if you have experienced changes in your weight. Your baseplate may need to be cut to a different size to accommodate a different shape, or if you find that you cannot get an accurate cut each time or you’re not confident in getting an accurate measurement of your stoma to cut your bag, then a seal may be beneficial for you, to mould around the base of your stoma to provide extra security.

The baseplate is wearing away quickly

If you are changing your stoma bag because your baseplate is wearing away quickly this may be due to your output. Looser output and urine often eat away at a baseplate much quicker than thicker output. Adding a seal under your baseplate may help extend the wear-time of your stoma bag, to give you longer in-between changes.

The baseplate is not sticking well to my skin

Sometimes a baseplate can move during normal activities if it’s not adhering well to the skin, or during times of more physical activity where sweating can impact the adhesion. Equally, the edge of your stoma bag may be catching onto clothes causing the edge of the baseplate to lift. Trying accessories like a seal or flange extenders can help keep the bag in place, helping with adhesion.

I just like to change more often

This is absolutely fine! Some people prefer to change their bag more often than others, but it is important for you to be aware of potential skin irritation that can occur from repeated removal. This is sometimes referred to as skin stripping. Using an adhesive remover spray can help with removing your stoma bag.

Alternatively, and where possible, you could speak to your stoma care nurse about trying a 2-piece system which would allow you to change your stoma bag more often but your baseplate less regularly.

It is important that you are using the right ostomy products for you. Depending on the reason you are changing your stoma bag more frequently than usual, the addition of an accessory product such as a seal could help make bag changes less frequent and help protect your skin. Please reach out to your stoma nurse to discuss the options that are available to you if you are not happy with your current ostomy routine, or if you are experiencing any skin irritation.


There’s an eakin® seal for every ostomate. Click here to find out more and to sample one today.

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