Swimming with a bag: Any tips?


I know this sounds like a stupid question, but I have a two-piece bag. I change the wafer thingy once or twice a week, and the bags I just put on, take off, and throw away. No mess, no nothing. Nice, actually. But I love to swim and get scared that if I swim, I have to wrap it and do all of this silly stuff in fear of it falling off? Anyone have any ideas? I've got 2 boys who love to swim, and I love swimming myself, so if anyone could shoot a secret or two my way, that'd be great. Thanks!

Good morning SK,

Do you have ILEO or colo? I forgot, however, know that I get 5-7 days/wafer and then I use one pouch that lasts 4-5 days/week. After emptying, I backflush with a glass of warm (not hot) water, and that keeps me feeling extra clean. Just so you know, those pouches range in price from 5-10 dollars a piece. If you use a drainable, the backflushing works great, and if you use the closed end (I don't know what to say), I don't like or use the closed end. As far as swimming goes, as long as you have a good seal on the wafer and depending on whether you swim in the ocean, salt or fresh water will determine how long after swimming you might have to change. If it's just a pool, there should be no difference in wear time. Michael :)
As far as what to do with the pouch, just empty before swimming, and depending on output or how soon after you eat, it will determine how long it will be before it fills up and you might want to get out of the water. This past summer, I swam in the Gulf of Mexico for 4 straight hours without getting out and not even knowing I had a pouch. Know that because the salt level is so high, after each swim that night, I would change the wafer. That's all. Hope some of this helps.

PS. There is nothing special that I do other than making sure it's empty upon entering the water. That's it because my seal on the wafer is always good. I too am a swimmer and a diver. And I have no problems. Michael
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I do not have an open bag, my insurance is pretty good, so I have the closed end, which I can just throw away after, well you know. Thanks for the info. I worry about stupid stuff sometimes and it prevents me from doing some things I love because I'm just plain scared because I don't know the answer, silly huh but thanks again and hope you're doing okay.

Past Member

I'm from the UK so I am spoilt, all our ostomy supplies are free. If your insurance will cover it, you can get stoma caps, a small round closed pouch. They only hold up to 50 ml. They are good for using when going swimming.

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I have never had a problem swimming (even in the surf)...my swimsuit doesn't show an outline even when wet (I have an ileo and wear a two-piece system) and the bag just dries when you do in the sun or when you dry off (same as when after a shower or bath). I even think the base adheres better after swimming but then I only usually change the whole deal once a week so this may be different for you. As Panther said if you have a colostomy you can wear a cap if it's easier.
Hope you find something cos there's nothing like taking the plunge and diving right in hey!

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Hi Sweetkat, I like swimming myself and was in my local pool the other night. All I can say about it is, make sure your flange is in good condition. And if you feel the need to put adhesive around it for extra security, if you need to get out of the pool, just check it again in the toilet. You will be fine. It also helps if you have a waistband close to the flange and pouch, that helps keep it pressed in. I have been swimming all my life and it gives me no trouble.
Let me know how you get on. Sherl,


Hi sweetkat! I love swimming...on hot days in summer you can't drag me out of the water, I'm either submerged in it or floating on top of it, but I am a lake and river swimmer and I usually sneak out to remote areas by myself ... I always bring an extra pouch with me just in case I have a problem, but heck, when I'm in the lake, especially alone, I don't care what happens lol I throw everything to the fates and totally free myself ....when I'm in the water I'm wet for a looonnng time....and if my pouch wants to let loose from my body, it can just flippin' go for all I care lmao

....now of course I understand that being in a public pool with other people is a whole different story.....

Some pouches (hey Michael, notice I'm using the word 'pouch' ) hold up better than others but I discovered my Hollister Premier pouches hold up in water longer than others I've tried, it's a one-piece ..very comfortable too There are so many different types of pouches and tapes...but...it also depends on our individual skin conditions sometimes as well...some people have 'weepy' skin and at that point there might be more trouble with the length of time one can wear a pouch, especially in the water. Good suggestions are popping in here. Good luck and have fun in the water!!


Very carefully!!


Not stupid at all -- it was my first question to my surgeon when he said I had to have an ileostomy!

Glad to read all the encouraging answers (again - I asked them too awhile back about snorkeling).

Can't wait till I get this anal discharge/possible fistula cleared up ... I'll be in the pool in a flash.

Don't let the 'pouch' keep you from enjoying the water with your boys, sweetkat!

Jo - the outline of my pouch is visible under my suit, more so once it fills a bit (ileo) ... what type of suit do you have? Got to say that once I'll be in the ocean with the fishes, I won't care who sees what!


You can go to drypro.com. They have what you asked for. It ain't a pretty site, but you are waterproofed.

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Beatrice, I have just a regular one-piece swimsuit (black) that has extra layers (like "ruching"?) over the stomach area which holds me in but is really comfy and doesn't look matronly!    Just bought it at a chain department store here (Big W, really cheap) so they would be available worldwide no doubt.
Even if I have output, with the larger pouch on, it doesn't "balloon" (have spent all day at the beach with only one unload needed!).
Past Member

I use Hollister's image two-piece system with no tape.
I frame my wafer with vinyl tape before I go in the water.
Then I run the blow dryer to the wafer rather than let it dry on its own. I let the pouch dry on its own.
It's been my experience that letting the wafer dry on its own has caused it to smell like mildew as well as become a breeding ground for yeast.
If I have extra supplies, I change it out all together.
Swim girl. Enjoy your freedom!


I've seen that type of style before ... will be on the lookout now to buy. Makes sense that the ruching hides things a bit.
Thanks for the info.

Past Member

Well, that's what I said when my ex-wife and I were invited to a pool party. Well, I sat at the edge for a few minutes and was very cautious for a few minutes. Then, I went in slowly and stood there for 5 minutes to see if the wafer would peel off or loosen. Wooohoo! I was good, didn't feel it come loose or anything. I was so JAZZZZZZed, I was in the pool for an hour. And this was 3 years ago. There is a pool at my apartment and yes, I do swim every chance I get. Make sure the wafer you use is well glued from the manufacturer company. I use the Hollister products.

Hope this helps...


I too have an ileostomy, and normally change the whole thing every 4 days. As well, I use Hollister products. As far as swimming goes, I try not to swim too often as I find that with having a shower and then swimming, it seems to get more saturated and the need to change more often. They are expensive to buy and don't have insurance where I live, so if I can avoid swimming, I will. I love to swim and we live on the ocean, so it is tough for me to not go out there. I had a few issues last summer, as I have a small fistula next to my stoma and not sure if the salt water had anything to do with it, but started to get a little infected so now I am more leery of going into salt water.


Hi Sweet Kat, I think everyone covered most of the preparation before swimming.
If your bag has a filter at the top, it's best to seal it with the little sticky things they put in the supplies. If you forget, it's not a problem.
I like to body surf as well as ride a surfboard, so I am always wearing board shorts which help to secure the sticky base to my skin.
The only problem I have experienced is the base started to peel off when body surfing in big waves, but I got around that problem by wearing a wetsuit vest or a sun shirt to overlap over my shorts.

Keep on swimming, Sweet Kat.

Ocean Blue


Maybe we'll all meet up at a beach party one day


Hi everyone,
I was told that I could go swimming with the 'pouch' and said "Yahoo!" I love to swim and find it releasing of tension... I use Salts and Coloplast and find both of them are good even in the water. This is a question most commonly asked here on the Gold Coast Australia with ostomates.

I don't have any special swimmers and just use the pouch I was wearing that morning and I swim in bikinis (with tight swim shorts over) and then sit up on the sand with the shorts off. When I get up, I put a towel around my waist.

I don't let the ostomy rule me and if you feel comfortable swimming, you do it!


Sorry if I sound wrong. I think if you want to do something, you should go for it!
Past Member

Hear, hear!


I just returned Monday from a week in Miami and my first vacation with an ostomy. I had a letter from the surgeon if they questioned me in the scanning machine, my old bathing suit which I had tried on at home..a tankini which looked fine..and nerves. The beach was fine except Miami Beach at 17th Street had no bathroom. Made it to Macy's later. Swimming pool swimming was fine except the little sticky that goes over the vent in my two-piece Convatec system was gone when I came out of the water. I took on a bit of the pool water because of that but swimming felt great. There was a man at the pool wearing a bathing suit and his prosthetic leg was completely visible. Made me feel better if anyone caught a glimpse of my "difference". I wore a cover-up and had a waist sarong thing that I tied on. Enjoy.


Hi Cee - thanks so much for letting us know about your experience! Glad to hear it went well. I've got the same system as you do and I'm looking forward to my first dip.

Well done - I'm happy for you.


I'm from Indiana, so the only swimming I do is in the pool hahaha, but every little bit of info helps. Thanks bunches,


Me too, this will not keep me down, 26 going on 27 heck no, This is such a great site to all of you I appreciate it very much... I've just been a little frightened and stayed on a raft, it's good to know that my son and I can play Marco Polo!!! lol


Don't know if that was to me but, oh yeah what fun to party...lol


I have had a colostomy (for rectal cancer) for 4 1/2 years now; have gotten quite used to it with very few problems. I use Hollister 2 pc system and rings and have been changing every 4-5 days, usually because of pancaking and/or slight leak at wafer's edge when rinsing. Some OstoMate on this site recommended Sure Seal ring for swimming and I ordered and tried them last week. Didn't change for 7 days, everything tight, I'm very impressed. Excellent for exercise, swimming. Probably effective for hot weather sweating, etc.
Hair pulling is somewhat painful on removal but that will improve with continued use as hairless area develops.
Cost of about $25 for 10 seals is not covered by insurance. It should be, especially as it extends the useful life of the wafer and pouch.
Thanks for the recommendation.

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