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Managing night drainage: top tips

In her blog, stoma nurse, Michaela Parker explores issues around obtaining smooth drainage at night. Here, to complement her post, Urostomy Association supporters share their top tips to getting a good night’s sleep.

  • “I change bags every week, and every morning flush with clean water before leaving a solution of white vinegar, washing up liquid and water in the bag to minimise UTIs. I wear lycra cycling shorts at night which keeps the pipe in place down my leg.” – John
  • “My set up, including a small washing up bowl on the floor by the side of my bed, was suggested by my stoma nurse. It works well, particularly on the one occasion when I forgot to check that the tap was closed!” – Brian
  • “I find it unnecessary and wasteful to change the bag twice per week. I wash mine out with warm water every morning and change it fortnightly. I never have problems with odour” – David
  • “I have the U-drain system which is very good” – Marjorie
  • “I would recommend following urostomy suppliers’ guidance. All the products I use include guidance for users. For night drainage bags their literature is against disinfection or that water used for rinsing needs to be ‘hot'” – Roger
  • “I obtained a bed hanger designed to hang on a bed frame and straightened it out so it slips under my mattress. My night bag is suspended from it and hangs in a plastic serial storage box. Because of the shape of the box it sits close to the bed and out of the way. It is important to express all the air from a night bag so it creates a vacuum when it is next in use. At bed time I place the box halfway down the left side of the bed with the night bag hanging in it. Then, with some urine in my pouch, I bring the drainage tube under my left leg and up between my legs and connect it to my pouch. I then make sure the urine flows down and into the night bag. It is important that the night bag is lower than the bed level to reduce the likelihood of a back flow. I very quickly learned to turn back and fro so not to end up with the tube wrapped round my legs. The night bag I use has a 1.5 metre flexible tube while some I tried initially were very short and ridged and were a great cause of frustration.” – Alistair
This is a photo from John, a Urostomy Association supporter, demonstrating his night bag arrangement
John’s night bag arrangement
These two photographs were supplied by Urostomy Association supporters, Brian (left) and Alistair (right). They show their night bag arrangements.
(left to right) Brian and Alistair’s night bag equipment

A huge thank you to everyone who shared their suggestions. These ideas are representative of each person’s experiences, and are unique and individual to them. Please note that inclusion here does not constitute recommendation by the Urostomy Association. Please remember to ask your own stoma specialist if you have any questions or concerns about your own urinary diversion, and to follow your product suppliers’ guidance.