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September 1, 2016

What You Need to Know About Swimming with an Ostomy

New ostomy patients have a lot of questions when it comes to their lifestyle, after the procedure.  One of the first that comes to mind, is “Can I swim with an ostomy?”. You most certainly can. But it can be more complicated than that.

Some of you may have heard the unfortunate stories about those living with an ostomy being asked to leave public pools. A story recently made headlines in the UK, where a woman was approached by another swimmer at her local health club and told that she was scaring children while swimming with her colostomy bag.

What You Need to Know About Swimming with an Ostomy - image of a diving board and poolJade Hughes, 23, refused to be ashamed of her life-saving pouch and was baffled by the claim. Without question, the shameful act was not swimming with an ostomy. Instead, the shame lay with the individual that had taken issue with it in the first place. The lifeguard, who also received the complaint, dismissed the ignorant request and invited Jade to continue enjoying the facility. She did, but soon left, feeling uncomfortable after the whole experience.

While ten of thousands of ostomy patients swim in pools, lakes, and in the ocean every day without issue, Jade’s story is not all that unique. It adds another layer of complexity to the whole conversation about swimming after receiving a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy. Today, InnerGood hopes to shed some light on the topic in order to encourage you to get in the water again.

4 Reasons Why Swimming After an Ostomy Procedure is Easier than Ever

What You Need to Know About Swimming with an Ostomy - beach time

Advances in Waterproof Ostomy Pouches and Accessories

Ostomy pouches aren’t what they were a decade ago. Today, bags provided by reputable suppliers are built not just for day to day functioning, but for active use in and out of the water. You don’t need a separate ostomy bag to swim, but you may opt for a smaller one for shorter sessions in the pool or body of water.

Accessories are also the key to feeling more free in the pool or sea. Waterproof ostomy pouch covers made of durable high quality surgical latex will keep your ostomy both safe and aesthetically sound. There are other waterproof ostomy protectors on the market, with a watertight vacuum seal that protects both your stoma pouch and flange. Those with a continent stoma need to be more cautious about micro-organisms in the water which can bring on infection. In this case, you may want to cover the opening with a waterproof skin sealant (also known as a barrier film). In early 2017, you will able to be find Inner Good’s line of waterproof ostomy supplies.

Advances in Ostomy Conscious Fashion

Fashion has moved very far forward when it comes to ostomy clothing. This includes ostomy conscious swimwear. There are functional items that provide additional waistband support while providing a place to tuck your pouch. Men’s surf-styled board shorts are available with standard higher waistbands and an inner pocket to keep the pouch safe and secure. There are many one-piece items for women, but those that prefer to shine in an itsy-bitsy teenie-weenie bikini can do so with a wide variety of two-piece bikinis on the market. View more on InnerGood’s up and coming line of waterproof ostomy fashion.

People are also getting more creative with their ostomy pouches when participating in public-facing activities. For instance, you may consider a fun nautical theme for your poolside escapades. View Pinterest boards here and here for inspiration.

Advances in Health Supplements for the Especially Active

Kudos to you for refusing to let your ostomy get in the way of an active lifestyle, which includes swimming and water sports. As with any active individual, you need to ensure that your nutritional requirements are met. Those living with an ostomy have more unique dietary needs so close attention to the supplements you consume before and after your sessions in the water (or any form of exercise) are required. Ensure longer strokes in the pool by consulting with your doctor and/or nutritionist and follow-up with our exclusive line of dietary health supplements.

Better Public Education and Understanding

Groups such as the United Ostomy Associations of America are making great strides in educating the general public on the social acceptability of persons living with an ostomy.

Inner Good’s own mission strives to help accomplish the same. You’re not alone. The more you put yourself out there the more the walls will come down, the ones surrounding swimming pools included.


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