Summertime and the swimming is easy

A person relaxing in a swimming pool


The summer holidays are finally here and with temperatures climbing, there’s nothing to beat a nice cool dip.

Our most recent survey found that one of the most popular forms of exercise with a stoma is Swimming. The physical and mental health benefits of swimming are well-known, and with a little planning, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t still enjoy swimming. 

We know it will be a little daunting at first, you might be worrying about leaks, or how people might react. Take a look at our tips, and then take the plunge.

Tips for swimming with a stoma

  • Empty your bag beforehand so you can be comfortable 
  • Plan to swim when your stomach is empty
  • Cover the filter with a protection sticker (they come with the stoma bags) and remove it when you’ve finished swimming
  • Don’t worry about the adhesive failing, it won’t! It’s very strong and won’t be affected by chlorine or salt water
  • Your stoma bag is completely waterproof and won’t degrade the longer you are in the water – it won’t leak
  • Choose swimwear you feel comfortable in. You can buy specialist swimwear but there’s no need. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t wear any costume, bikini or swim trunks you like. A patterned swimsuit or tankini will disguise the outline of your bag if that would make you feel more confident. Most people won’t even notice regardless!
  • If you feel a little anxious at first – just go for a paddle so you can get used to it – you could even sit in a paddling pool in your garden for a practice run!

Why not visit one of the UK’s fantastic lidos? Outdoor swimming has really taken off in the last couple of years and the summer months are the ideal time to start. Many lidos stay open all year round, so if you love it, you can swim outside throughout the year, maybe with a wetsuit in the winter!

There are over 100 lidos in the UK with many more being renovated. Here are some of the best:

Bristol Lido

Tinside Lido Plymouth

Droitwich Spa Lido, Worcestershire

Saltdean Lido, East Sussex

Stonehaven Open Air Pool, Scotland

Lido Ponty, Pontypridd, Wales

Ilkley Pool and Lido, West Yorkshire

Hathersage Pool, Peak District 

Wherever you choose to swim, indoors or outside, enjoy it and make the most of our beautiful British weather!


If you use a bladder or bowel appliance and would like to join our panel of experts and have your voice heard please click here to apply. 

The information in this blog is intended as a guide only. Always consult your GP or healthcare professional before starting an exercise programme, especially if you have recently had surgery. 



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