To Swim Or Not To Swim With An Ostomy?

To Swim Or Not To Swim With An Ostomy?

Thinking about swimming with an ostomy can lead to certain neurosis for some of us. Will the bag slide off whilst in the pool? Will the baseplate withstand the water? Or even changing appliance after swimming can cause dread – are there facilities to manage this? What if my stoma decides to set off mid change?

It can be a bit difficult to say have faith in your product if you have never tested out how it will react with being submerged.

Testing out the bag prior to swimming

You can test out the way the bag holds up prior to swimming and one of those ways is to take a bath with the bag on. If you are like me and enjoy a long soak in hot water then it’s a good method of testing out the baseplate. For me I can average an hour a time in the bath and it doesn’t affect the bag at all. I typically change after having a bath as the bags aren’t water proof but if your bag stays stuck in the bath then it’s the same concept going swimming.

How can I make the bag more secure?

There are ways of making the bag more secure and making the baseplate adhere better. That tip is to apply flange extenders the night before swimming which gives an extra added layer of protection. You can also now get waterproof bag covers from Respond Healthcare and swimsuits for ostomates with a band to protect and hold the stoma flush to the body.

Are there any exceptions?

There are a few exceptions to swimming and those would be if you currently have an open wound or have recently had surgery. For those post barbie butt surgery you will have to wait at least 6-12 weeks before attempting to swim due to the wound needing to heal. For those of you with open wounds then you would need to contact your wound team and talk with your nurse prior to swimming

For me I have never had an issue with swimming in a pool, but I still have a neurosis about swimming in the sea and I am actually going to attempt snorkeling this year and try and put my own neurosis to one side.

As always

Many thanks for reading

Louise X

Have you tried our Platinum Vitamin E range? Our pouches will provide a comfortable, secure fit to put your mind as ease when swimming. You could also try our Contour Flange Extenders to give you a little more confidence when dipping in the pool. 

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