Many ostomates worry about odour. If the stoma bag fits well there should be no smell except when changing it. If you notice a smell from your bag, you should check it as there may be a leak under the flange and the bag will need changing.
It is normal for the smell of the bag contents to differ from what you were used to before your surgery because part of the bowel has been removed. If you are worried about lingering smells, you can strike a match after changing your bag and this will help to reduce any odour - but be careful not to do this after using any flammable products such as medical adhesive remover sprays.
Food and odour
Certain foods may increase the smell of your stoma output, for example onions, cauliflower and some green vegetables such as cabbage but this varies a lot between individuals. There is no need to cut out any of these foods but you may want to limit their intake on social occasions or use products to reduce the odour. Drinking buttermilk and/or eating yoghurt or parsley can help to reduce odours from colostomy and ileostomy bags. In the case of urostomy patients, asparagus and fish will make the urine smell stronger.
Stoma products to help prevent odour
Proprietary odour absorbers are available to buy in the supermarkets. These are different from room sprays and are sprays or gels that have no perfume but break down smells rather than adding a further masking odour. Specialised ostomy deodorants such as Limone are available on prescription and can be effectively added to your bag. Peppermint oil capsules have also been found to be useful inside the bag. Alternatively, if your output is more liquid, you might try a motion management sachet like Morform to gel the contents of your stoma bag and help reduce odour.