You do not need a special stoma bag to go swimming, though some ostomates prefer to wear a smaller ileostomy, urostomy or colostomy bag or a stoma cap whilst they are in the water. There are companies who make specialist swimwear for ostomates, with higher waisted shorts for men and swimsuits with hidden pockets inside for the stoma bag. For women, patterned swimsuits, or those with ruffled fabric can help disguise the bag but in reality, other people are not looking out for a stoma bag so are very unlikely to notice anything unusual anyway. Some ostomates just let the bag show and don’t worry about it but everyone is different so it is a case of finding what is comfortable.
If you wear a stoma bag with a filter, use the filter cover (sticky patches normally supplied by the manufacturer in your box of stoma bags) as it will become clogged and ineffective if wet.
Some stoma bags have covers particularly suited to swimming (and showering and bathing). Our Aura range of flushable, colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy bags, for instance, features a soft cover made from a special rapid drying fabric – it really is like water off a duck’s back. You don’t have to worry about wet patches or discomfort; when you get out of the water, simply pat the bag down gently with a towel. This fabric can help with perspiration build up as well.