Take The Plunge

Swimming With a Base Plate and Pouch

Tips on swimming from your fellow ostomates

“Swimming is different than showering because the ostomy pouch is completely submerged, and like showering there are no restrictions on the amount of time I can spend in the water.
I swim with a wafer (base plate) and pouch for just a few hours. Then after a swim, I squeeze out all the water with a towel and blow dry the pouch.
If I am in the water all day, I usually change the pouch immediately after swimming. I do not use a sticker when I wear a wafer since I typically change my bag (but not the wafer) after a swim.”
    - L.A., Female Ileostomate
“Just before surgery, I thought I would never be able to do anything fun again because I had a “bag-o-poo” stuck to my right side. I was wrong! I can do anything and everything now that I could do before surgery, including swimming. I have jumped into the ocean, a pool, and a lake with my ostomy appliance nestled in a stealth belt. I love swimming, so it’s great that I can stay in the water as long as I want.
I tend to wear the same ostomy system because I am loyal to it. The last time I was at the beach, I wore my appliance for two to three days. Wear time for me depends on what I eat, my exercise level, and the amount of sunscreen that makes its way behind the base plate.
After being in the water, I let my pouch air dry. I am fine having my appliance exposed. But if an ostomate is not comfortable doing that, I suggest using a cool blow dryer or change out the bag if it’s a 2-piece system.”           
    - E.D., Male Ileostomate


“I use my standard set-up when swimming but wear mini-pouches with a filter sticker. I air dry them and save them for the next time. I put silicon horseshoe-shaped border protectors around the edges for extra security. I only swim for about an hour and then get out to check that all is well with the base plate and pouch. So far, so good!”             
    - M.C., Male Colostomate