Can a Colostomy Patient Swim with a Colostomy Bag On?

Updated on November 28, 2019
AloBeDa profile image

I love swimming but avoided it when I had a colostomy. But I soon found ways to enjoy my favourite pastime without a care in the world.

Colostomy patients who love to swim always have questions about swimming with a colostomy bag on. As an ostomate who lived with a stoma for a year, I soon learned that colostomy patients can do anything that people without one can. In fact, a great number of patients can do much more than many people without a stoma.

The only limitations if there is any, are the limitations that you set for yourself. In other words, try as much as is possible not to limit yourself to certain activities that may have been a part of your lifestyle before your surgical procedure.

Swimming is a great way to keep fit and maintain good energy levels, and even if you are not an ardent swimmer, swimming is good for us and even with a colostomy, nothing must stop you. Whether you swim in a pool or at the beach, or simply want to relax in an outdoor jacuzzi, as long as you use some securing ostomy product, and wear a swimsuit that fits firmly around your abdomen, you can swim with a colostomy bag.

Some may worry about discretion. If you are, there are special mini colostomy bags you can buy to use for such an event. They are very discrete and ideal for swimmers with a stoma, so, there is no reason to worry about how best to conceal your colostomy bag.

There are also trendy waist-high bikinis with an internal pouch that runs from the left side to the right. They are made to support and hold in place colostomy pouches, whether for swimming, sunbathing or for water sports.

They are easy to use. All you have to do is to attach your bag to your stoma at an angle and tuck it inside the swimwear’s internal pouch so that the opening is bent in the direction between the legs.

The benefit of the internal pouch is that it keeps the ostomy bag away from the skin thus reducing any sweating that can cause odour. It is also good because it reduces visits to the bathroom as it firmly holds the stoma bag contents, stopping it from bulging out in an unsightly manner.

How to Go Swimming with Your Colostomy Bag On

You don’t really require any special wear or appliance before you can engage in any water activity if you are a colostomy patient. There are just a few things to have in mind when you decide to take a swim or lounge in a hot tub. Some feel more comfortable using a colostomy belt, I know that I did, but I didn’t use it more than a few times. Because I had built up my confidence over the weeks, I was able to wear my regular swimsuit that came with an internal pouch.

  • You don't really need a colostomy belt to hold and protect the bag, because belts get wet and may make you feel irritated.
  • Wear modern colostomy bags with adhesive face-plates and inner linings. They are waterproof and so, will not soak in water.
  • To make the bag a bit more discreet, attach it to your stoma at an angle or horizontally. When placed vertically it may make the bag 'hang' if there is a substantial amount of faeces expelled into it whilst swimming. When placed horizontally, the swimsuits spandex will help add extra hold to the colostomy bag and keep it firmly in place.
  • Male colostomy patients that intend to swim can wear more fitted swimming trunks underneath the boxer type swim trunks. The snug fitting trunks will hold the waterproof colostomy bag firmly in place, making it discreet.
  • Female swimmers wearing colostomy bags look great in swimsuits with the skirted bottoms. They are very attractive vintage-inspired pieces, just as the swimwear of old, with ruches.
  • Swimwear with heavy patterning or detailing is always good to conceal an ostomy bag as the heavy pattern takes the eye away from any noticeable bulge that may occur as a result of bag ballooning.
  • Swimming suits with a panel detail across the abdomen offers additional support for the stoma pouch.
  • Tying a sarong while walking on the beach or pier is a chic lady-like style. It is a good way of concealing a colostomy bag if you wear the larger sized one.
  • Women can swim in pretty boxer type swim shorts, with a halter or sleeveless top. Wearing swimming bottoms made of Lycra material under the shorts will hold the stoma bag firmly in position.

It is advisable not to stay in the water for more than thirty to forty-five minutes. A prolonged stay in water is not the best for the colostomy bag face-plates which may begin to swell if you spend a much longer time in the pool. Being in water for too long makes the edges of the waxy faceplate) absorb water. If the plate is exposed to water long enough, the wax will start to soften and turn into a putty textured stuff.

When this happens, the faceplate will start to loosen and will come off eventually giving room for faeces leakages and a foul odour.

After a swim, pat dry your bag. It will be damp but not wet. Alternatively, you can slip one of the trendy ostomy pouch covers over it. They come in a terry-cloth or towel-like material and dry up the dampness immediately.

Further reading:

Ostomy Accessories for Swimming . . .

Be Stylish on the Beach, Even with a Colostomy

Having a stoma bag on shouldn't keep colostomy patients from having a great time swimming, neither does it stop them having fun at the beach. There was once a fashionable young lady who was a colostomy patient. She visited nude beaches with her stoma bag, wearing it discreetly covered with a beautiful purse belt. No one ever suspected or knew she had a faecal waste bag attached to her abdomen.

There are some online stores for ostomates that have a fine collection of swimwear specially designed for people with ostomies.

The best colostomy bags that are wonderful for swimming are the ones that have double lined front panels that give the wearer a smooth outline around the abdomen. They also have an inner pouch which keeps colostomy bags firmly tucked away from the skin, giving you not only extra comfort but, tons of self-confidence too.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2010 Alobeda

Your Comments and Views

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • AloBeDa profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from The Global Village

      Hello Danyelle,

      You can try White Rose Collection and OstomySecrets. They have nice bathing suits for women with a colostomy. You can Google both to get to their sites.

      I hope this helps, and i wish your daughter all the very best :)

    • profile image

      Danyelle Boswell 

      3 years ago from Idaho

      Hi. Thank goodness someone gave more info about swimming with a bag on. My daughter got one last year after finaly being diagnosed with hirschprung disease. It will be permanent since she was diagnosed late and is special needs besides. The care needed for after a pull through wouldn't be a great idea on her part. She's already scared of so much. I didn't know there were special pouches within swimsuits for the bags. I was in a support group but it didn't help with my questions regarding swimming. I hadn't thought about turning the bag horizontally. This helps tremendously. My daughter would like to have a bathing suit. Is there a good site for the bathing suits with pouches?

    • AloBeDa profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The Global Village

      You are welcome Lynda

      I'm glad you found it useful.

    • profile image

      Lynda Hall 

      5 years ago

      Love the video on using pattern duct tape to design your colostomy bag ! Thanks very much !

    • AloBeDa profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The Global Village

      Thanks for the visit Chris Grubbs


    • profile image

      Chris Grubbs 

      6 years ago

      That is a sweet idea!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)