Swimming with an Ileostomy: Tips and Advice Needed

Mar 03, 2024 3:58 am

Hey everyone, I'm new here and I've had my ileostomy for about a year now. For the most part, I've gotten used to it, but I'm extremely anxious about getting into a pool. I'd love any tips or advice on how I can go about securing my bag or just really what to expect. Thanks in advance.

Mar 03, 2024 4:17 am

If your bag is tight on land, it should be good in the water. Use flange extenders for extra security. Do not drown.

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Spunky 64
Mar 03, 2024 4:23 am
Reply to xnine

Definitely, I went snorkeling on Maui, colostomy x 5 years, Maui in July 2023, and snorkeled and swam, had no problems at all. The bag lasted a full 5 days; changed it before heading home. It was actually super clean from chlorine lol. I keep it rinsed out anyway and keep it clean always. Make sure you use the Eakin extender strips always; they are godsent. Good luck, get into that pool and get your swim on lol.

Mar 03, 2024 4:28 am

If you are worried about your bag in water, you can wear a wrap for security. And yes, wafer extenders are also good. Don't worry too much about it, you will be fine. I go swimming at the Y and have never had an issue.


Mar 03, 2024 1:25 pm

Check out a wrap by Ostomy Secrets. Don't forget to hydrate if out in the sun and enjoy yourself 🌈

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Stoma Boy
Mar 03, 2024 2:23 pm

Hey LA guy,

I, like you, was very hesitant to get in the water with the bag. When I did the first couple of times, I really felt uncomfortable. Mostly because there was now drag (not a lot but some) where there had never been some before. So my focus was on the bag the entire time rather than on swimming, so I didn't enjoy it. So I wore a belt (wrap) with the bag that kept it pressed against my body, and that really helped me stop focusing on the bag while I was in the water. I probably would have gotten used to it eventually, but the belt worked.

Then I got a pretty decent-sized hernia, and the nightmare scenario started to occur regularly. My bags started to come off in the water. So I started to secure them with waterproof tape around the entire perimeter of the bag. I eventually switched from the tape to Coloplast elastic barrier strips because removing the tape would take off skin when removing it from time to time. Both options were successful in keeping the bag on. Again, I only had problems once I had the hernia, but if looking for extra peace of mind, tape or barrier strips will do the job.

One other note: I switched from swimming to deep water running because the Aqua Jogger belt covers the bag area. I find most of the issues I have doing stuff are more mental than physical, and the Aqua belt helps my mind. I now get in the pool 4-5 times a week, and it is by far my favorite post-ostomy exercise.

Lastly, if you want to know anything else or talk about it more, feel free to send me a private message. This is something I really struggled with and am happy to share any and all of my experiences.

Good luck

Morning glory
Mar 03, 2024 3:04 pm

Welcome to the site. You have good answers to your question; enjoy your swimming. I will agree that the biggest problem is the mental worry. I have never had an accident in the pool or oceans. I have had my ileostomy since 1987.