Ostomy Accessories Guide: Undergarments


Guide to Ostomy Accessories: Undergarments and Lingerie

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What are Ostomy Undergarments?

Ostomy undergarments are a special clothing option designed specifically for people who have an ostomy.

They include underwear and lingerie with special pockets to help support an ostomy bag. Note that while most will have a pouch pocket, some do not.

Note that while most ostomy undergarments will have a pouch pocket, some do not. For the ones that don’t, they often have higher waists to give your appliance more support.

Alternative Ana Nolan inner pocket
You can see the inner pouch pocket for Alternative Ana’s “Nolan” underwear for men.

Some Benefits

  • They provide great support of your ostomy appliance.
  • They can offer concealment of your appliance.
  • Can help to boost confidence and improve body image.
  • Sexy undergarments can help to spice things up in the bedroom and improve intimacy.
  • Because undergarments are often worn anyway (by most people, at least… I won’t judge if you don’t!), they work seamlessly without the need to use extra support products.
  • Many of the current ostomy undergarments available offer products that rival the look and style of traditional brands.

Potential Issues

  • Wearing your appliance under clothes can restrict the capacity of your pouch and make things uncomfortable as it fills up. This can also lead to pancaking.
  • Ostomy undergarments can be more expensive than regular undergarments in some cases.
  • While undergarments designed for ostomates might look great, getting fully naked (i.e. to have sex) may still require you to use another accessory for support or concealment of your appliance.
  • These may not be suitable for ostomates who have two stomas, although some brands do offer double-pockets (like the “Nolan” underwear above).
  • Ostomates who have a high-output stoma or urostomy may not be able to comfortably wear these.
  • It’s difficult to use other accessories like stoma guards when you have your appliance in an ostomy undergarment.

How Ostomy Undergarments are Typically Sold

I often to see these products being sold directly through the manufacturers online, although you may be able to find them at medical supply stores that carry ostomy supplies.

Because these tend to be sold online, it’s hard to know how well they’ll fit or look on you.  Fortunately, most of the companies who make these products love to share photos through social media, so that may help some people to decide what to order.

A few examples from various Instagram accounts:

When sizing these undergarments, always check to see if the manufacturer has a measuring guide or size chart available to make things easier. As with pretty much any article of clothing, sizes will vary from brand to brand.

Prices for ostomy undergarments can range from $30 to nearly $100, which is why you may want to consider some alternatives if cost is a factor (see the Alternatives section at the end of this article)

You can find a list of manufacturers who make ostomy undergarments on THIS page.

Purchase on Amazon

You can purchase ostomy undergarments on Amazon (affiliate links): USA

Although, you can also find high waisted underwear on Amazon that may also work just as well (affiliate links): USA | CANADA

How to Use Ostomy Undergarments

Wearing an ostomy undergarment is very similar to how you’d wear high-waisted underwear or lingerie.

The only difference is that if your undergarment has a pouch pocket, you’ll want to put the bottom of your ostomy pouch into it.

When it comes time to empty your ostomy pouch, you can often easily remove it from the undergarment pocket without needing to pull down or remove the undergarment completely.

Wearing Alternative Ana's Nolan underwear for men
Wearing Alternative Anas Nolan underwear for men.

Tips When Using Ostomy Undergarments

Here are a few things to keep in mind when using ostomy undergarments.

  • Try to keep your bag as empty as possible when using ostomy undergarments.
  • If you have a colostomy and irrigate, you should be able to comfortably wear these types of undergarments without many problems.
  • For ladies who are looking for intimacy wear that they can keep on during intimate times, look for crotchless styles.
  • Ostomy undergarments can be really comfy to wear to bed. Since many pajamas are loose, it opens up the option of wearing your appliance under clothing, even when it’s something you might not do during the day.

Alternatives to Ostomy Underwear

Perhaps the best alternative to ostomy-specific underwear are traditional high-waisted undergarments. These will offer similar support (although, they will not have a pouch pocket) and can be purchased for a fraction of the cost.

Amazon has quite a few styles of high waisted underwear available on their USA and CANADA sites (affiliate links), but you can get these just about everywhere.

One thing to be cautious about is that like the ostomy underwear, high waisted undergarments may cause issues with pancaking or restrict flow, so don’t go with something too tight if you have regular output.

If you’re looking for similar support and concealment, you may be able to use ostomy wraps under your clothing or other support garments.

Additional Resources

Examples of ostomy undergarments and other clothing ideas can be found in my clothing guide for MEN or LADIES.

Info: For more articles in this Accessory Guide Series, please visit THIS

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Jacqueline Verstraete
Jacqueline Verstraete
2 months ago

Hi I’m the primary caregiver of a c5 quadriplegic with ostomy and she’s just getting back into the swing of things with people and she has a very high stoma as it’s above her belly button do too many surgeries as well as she has a g-tube for venting and a super pube so I’m wondering if anyone out there has any advice as to where I could do some shopping or what I could offer her in regards to intimate wear so she feels comfortable with the opposite sex again

Last edited 2 months ago by Jacqueline Verstraete
Lynn A Newton
Lynn A Newton(@figsisters2)
4 years ago

The two ostomy specific lingerie I’ve purchased didn’t fit as comfortably as I’d like. Thank goodness they make “granny panties” that come high enough to cover ‘Lola’.

4 years ago

Hi Sydneychic, You say your stoma is level with your belly button so why not give the stealth belt ago. Now I ain,t tried it as my stoma is low but on the reviews it gets the thumbs up and you will have more freedom to enjoy summer

4 years ago

Another great article Eric,
I wear Vanilla Blush underwear all of the time. It contains my Sensura Click appliances comfortably within the pouch and as my output is usually liquid there is no problem with pancaking. When my output is firmer or if wearing tight jeans I wear it in conjunction with my Stoma Protector which also fits under the Vanilla Blush waistline.
It has the added advantage of preventing rubbing from the open pouch and if you do spring a leak it contains it to a certain extent.
I didn’t hear about Vanilla Blush or any specialist underwear when I first had my stoma and experimented with 2 layers of underwear – a mini brief under a high waister and Incontinence pants which covered the bag but were bulky and the absorbency was in the wrong place!
The basic Vanilla Blush styles are available on NHS prescription to those of you in the UK. Top tip if buying yourself buy one item or the basic multi pack to check the sizing before you buy a drawer full. I now have enough for long holidays and spares in the office and changing kit – great idea from John about Christmas gifts too.
I also bought a bikini bottom which I wear with my own top. It is pretty and totally disguises a full size bag.
The staff are very helpful and generous with money off vouchers for repeat custom.

4 years ago

I find that the high waisted regular underwear is not high enough for my stoma. It is parallel to my navel. I wear high cut bikini pants (that don’t reach the bag) and then a singlet over and sometimes a maternity band. In the picture above of the ‘underwear for men’, how does that work with the jeans waistband supposedly across the stoma? This is my great dilemma at the moment. We are transitioning to summer here in Australia and I haven’t been through a summer yet. I have been wearing maternity jeans in winter but I think they will be too hot for summer. I try to put lower waisted pants under the bag and a singlet over to keep it from flapping about, but it’s not ideal. I don’t wear dresses at all. High waisted pants are not high waisted enough and cut right across my stoma. Any suggestions from the ladies out there? I’ve read your guides on dressing.

4 years ago

Hi Eric, Very interesting review. I like wearing my pouch inside my pants as just give me the feeling of support and a waist band that just fits above the stoma. At the start boxers where my choice but lately go for a boxer brief. They are a little more fitted and similar to the ones you have modelled. good fitted underwear will not only give support but will help clothes fit better. I have to say what I have tried is not ostomy wear but helps me so any thing that’s designed with a stoma in mind no doubt will be better, will be interesting to hear options from any one who has been wearing them. Now would be a good time to start leaving hints to friends and family as Christmas gifts.