Night bag

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Can anyone help with a problem that I have as a very new stomamate (1 week today since op).
Everything seems to work well in the day, then I connect to the night bag and the urine won’t flow from the day bag into the night bag. The stoma nurse suggested I leave urine in the day bag before I connect it, which I have done since then, but still no flow. She suggested it was an air lock. I have also tried connecting 1/2 hour before bed so that I move around a little before I lie down. The tube and bag can’t be blocked because when I go to the bathroom to sort things out (to let my husband sleep) the urine empties from the day bag into the night bag almost before I’ve got there.

I am using Salts Heathcare kit.

This is more of a nuisance than anything serious at the moment as the weight of the full day bag lying on my sore tum is waking me up, but as I get stronger I guess I will not waken and goodness knows what will happen!

  • Hi R1M2,Welcome to this friendly group.I’m sorry to hear you having problems with night bag drainage.It may just be your sleeping position.I’ve had the same issue but only when I was facing left ( stoma on right).If I sleep facing the right then it drains freely.How are you feeling ? I expect you are very tired so early in your recovery.I hope you will find this forum helpful.Best wishes Jane 

  • Hi Jane, I think you may have a point here - I have been sleeping flat on my back but have found the last few nights I am turning on my left side when asleep. I will try to turn to the right side instead. 
    it’s all a bit new and strange and a lot to cope with when I am not very strong either physically or mentally - but when I think back to 1 week ago I couldn’t manage a thing for myself, so I know I am making good progress. Excellent support at home and from the Clinical Team has made a world of difference.

    Thank you

  • Hi  

    You are very soon out from surgery so things will take time to settle for you, but you’ll get there! 

    I’ve had my urostomy for over 3 years and still have issues with drainage to the night bag. Sounds like I have a different problem, which is the night bag filling with air and therefore the day bag not draining. But I do sometimes have the same issue as you when air is not involved.

    Sleeping in a different position could help-I usually sleep on my left side as I have a colostomy on that side, so it’s easier to lie on that rather than the urostomy side, but once you are more recovered you might be able to sleep on the right.  Have you tried leaving some liquid in the night bag before you connect up? I sometimes just get out of bed and stand up, and that’s enough for the liquid to drain. And I make sure that the day bag has fully drained before I settle to sleep. Sometimes I’ll just gently push on it but clearly you will be too tender to do that! 

    I’m astonished that in this day and age we have to use such a primitive and often not very good system! I hope things improve for you, but it’s lovely that you have good support around you. 

    Sarah xx


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  • Thank you very much Sarah, a few tips there for me to try. I admire you for living with a Urostomy and a Colostomy. That must have been a learning curve and a half! 

  • It’s second nature now-amazing how you adapt to these life changes when you have to!  We also have a stoma group in the community where you can get advice and ask questions, which can be a good source of extra support.

    Stoma Support Group

    Take care as you slowly get on with your recovery.

    Sarah xx


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  • It is all a bit strange at first but you will soon adapt to the stoma.Once you feel more comfortable and stronger it should get easier to manage.I’m so pleased that you have support.There is plenty of advice and support on here.Best wishes Jane x

  • Hi R1M2

    I have had my Stoma 18 months now and still worry about my night bag. I think it’s more a psychological thing with me thinking it’s not going to work.  I connect up at night and let the urine flow down the tube just so I know the valve is open. Then settle down to rest. I always get up in the night to let the urine drain from bag to bag but to be fair back in the day I always got up in the night to go to the loo. 
    it has its advantages, it takes seconds to stand up and empty, no need to put lights on and no getting cold in the winter months. When I get up in the morning my day bag is usually empty and night bag well full, so it does work.

    It’s early days for you but you will get there, each day a little stronger. Take care.

  • Hi,

    I did have some problems with the night bag when I first started using them, however ---

    my method now, after nine years, is as follows--

    Keep at least a couple of mugfuls of urine in the day bag when you go to bed, spread the tube to the night bag out - lay it on the floor ? - and make sure there are no kinks in the tube, and that it has a straight route into the night bag, this is important, as at this stage, the slightest kink will be a problem, then  whilst standing up, connect the night bag to the day bag ( if it's Salts I guess you have a tap on the day bag, and a clip connector to the night bag ?) urine should flow and you hear a sucking sound as the day bag empties.

    Using a velcro strap - there are purpose made straps available, but a simple velcro backed strap is all that's needed)  - just hold it in place with the strap and attach the tube firmly to your thigh so that it doesn't get pulled about during the night,  route the tube outside your leg, NOT between your legs. If you have sucessfully drained into the night bag, the laws of physics dictates that the flow will continue through the night with no help from you.(Siphon effect) and you can lay in any position you choose without stopping the flow -  gravity is no longer an issue at this stage ! The bag may get a little twisted if you move around a lot, but it swivels without any trouble or leaks.

    Second tip - the tube from the night bag comes all nicely coiled up, when making the bed in the morning , lay the night bag under the pillow and extend the tube so it's fairly straight and held like that during the day by the weight of the bedclothes- this way, the tube won't be all curly and awkward when you come to use it !

    Third tip -- if you have been given a stand for the night bag, I suggets that you put it back in the box and get yourself a large cat litter tray - use that to lay the bag in during the night -- it's waterproof,will fit under the bed, and won't fall over during the night !

    If you continue to use Salts medilink I can say that their phone ordering service is top class - always cheerful and helpful, with deliveries always reliable, also they do have specialist Stoma Nurses available to talk over any problems.

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes

  • Hi R1M2, I connect my night bag in the bathroom and stand up until the the urine in the pouch has drained into the night bag, from then on I have no problem with the night bag filling.

  • I both have a urostomy and colostomy and I’m having trouble with night bag. I wake up in night and my bag is full and have to stand out of bed to getvthe bag to empty but then in the morning the pipe is full of urine and dosnt drain to the bag