You can bathe and shower as normal with your stoma and, unless you have been specifically advised otherwise, you can do so with the stoma bag on or off. It won’t fall off in the water if you choose to keep it on and if you bathe with the stoma bag off, soap rinsing over the stoma isn’t a problem.
You can normally start bathing or showering two to three days after your operation, but your Stoma Care Nurse or ward staff will give you more specific advice.
If you keep your stoma bag in place while you are bathing and don't intend to change it afterwards, protect the filter with a filter cover (sticky patches normally supplied by the manufacturer in your box of stoma bags). This stops water clogging the filter, which would make it less effective.
As with swimming, some stoma bags have covers particularly suited to showering and bathing. Our Aura range of colostomy bags, flushable bags, 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.
Video transcriptclose transcript
How do I bathe and shower with my stoma?
When bathing and showering with a stoma pouch it's personal preference. You can either bathe with the pouch on or take it off - there's no damage that will be caused to the stoma if you choose to shower with the pouch off. If you shower with the pouch on the pouches are waterproof, the water just sits on top of the cover and can be towel dried. The adhesive is very good, and the pouches aren't affected, and the pouch adhesive isn't affected by the water. There are filters within the stoma pouches - you can place a small sticky cover over that's provided in the boxes that can help to protect the filter and stop that being damaged as it's a charcoal filter.