If you have problems with bowel or bladder control, or you have a stoma, you may feel worried about going out. Planning ahead can help you feel more confident.

Access to toilets

If you have problems with bowel or bladder control, or you have a stoma, you may feel anxious about going out in public. It may help to do the following things.

Plan ahead and find a public toilet

If you are going somewhere new, it is a good idea to find out where the toilets are before you go. Many areas have lists or maps of the local public toilets. These are often on local authority websites. Try:

  • typing ‘public toilets’ and the name of the place you are visiting into a search engine such as Google.
  • visiting the website toiletmap.org.uk to see a map with details of public toilets.
  • downloading a phone app that can help you find a public toilet.

Get a toilet card

You may also find it helpful to get a toilet card. This is a card that you can show quickly and easily to staff in shops, pubs and other places. It explains that you have a medical condition and need urgent access to a toilet.

We have a free toilet card you can use. The Bladder & Bowel Community also offer a free Just Can’t Wait toilet card and phone app.

Use disabled toilets

Disabled toilets often have more privacy and space. The National Key Scheme (NKS) offers access to over 9,000 locked disabled toilets in the UK. You can buy a key from Disability Rights UK. You can also order a guide that tells you where the toilets are.

We have more general information about coping with bladder and bowel problems.

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