There is generally no need to follow a specific diet when you have a urinary diversion, but there are a few points to bear in mind. Excessive weight gain can affect the position or shape of your stoma and the fitting of your pouches, so it’s best to try to maintain a healthy balanced diet.
Drinking plenty of water helps to keep mucus flushed through and can help reduce the risk of urine infections. There is no reason a urinary diversion should stop you drinking alcohol, but do remember to increase your other fluid intake to offset the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
Some foods will affect the colour or smell of your urine, but this isn’t usually something to worry about. If you experience symptoms such as back pain or fever alongside a change to your urine, seek advice from your GP or specialist nurse.
When you feel ready, you should be able to get back to work and continue your career. In some cases you may need some adaptations, for example to physical aspects of the role or access to toilet facilities.
The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to make any reasonable adjustments to ensure that a person with a disability, including a urinary diversion, is not put at a disadvantage. We recommend that you speak to your employer about how and when you return to work, and any adjustments that you need.
Sex and pregnancy
It’s natural to feel concerned about how surgery might affect your existing or future relationships. Sex doesn’t need to come to a halt now that you have a urinary diversion. However, after your surgery, you may encounter both physical and psychological problems, although this is not the case for everyone. At the very least, you are likely to need time to adjust to the changes to your body and sense of self.
It is possible to become pregnant and have children when you have a urinary diversion.
If you have any concerns or questions, we recommend that you speak to your GP or specialist nurse.