Swimming with a stoma

Hear from Sarah our Clinical Advisor

From A Bigger Life

Hints and tips for going swimming

Swimming is a great way of being able to undertake some gentle exercise, especially in the early months following your surgery. For some people, the first question is “What am I going to wear?”

For women, a swimsuit or a tankini were you have higher waisted shorts is an option to provide that little bit of extra security that nobody can see your pouch. A pattern on a swimsuit might help as well, rather than a plain colour because it will distract the eye and nobody will see the shape of your pouch. Whenever you are putting your appliance on, some ostomates just turn their pouch to the side so it’s laying horizontally across the tummy.

For men, a little tip that other people have used is to wear lycra cycling shorts underneath your swimming trunks, they come up a little bit higher and secures the bag nice and tightly.

In every box of bags, there are little stickers, we’re sure people have wondered what they are, they’re filter covers and if you’re going swimming and you don’t want to change your pouch whenever you come out you just put on one of the filter covers over the inside of the hole of your filter and that stops it being waterlogged whenever you’re swimming.

Another thing you’re probably concerned about is “How do I change, where do I change?” If you’re concerned about changing in front of people, try and locate a swimming pool that has private changing rooms, so you can go into a cubicle and change.

Whenever you get out of the swimming pool your stoma pouch is going to be really wet. So, if you do have the opportunity to towel dry it or change it that would be a good tip. Or, if you are in a private area that you have a hairdryer at your disposal, just run the hair dryer over it, that will dry it until you get home. Other people have just wrapped up a small towel around the pouch, just so it absorbs a lot of the water before you put your clothes on.

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