Learning to live with an ostomy is a big change for most, as not only are you adapting to a new way for your body to dispose of waste, but you’re also learning to live with something attached to your body. And that’s something that can be weird for a lot of people to new ostomies, because they’re always confused about what they can and can’t do with their bodies.
One of the absolute most often asked questions surrounding what you can do with your ostomy? If you can get your pouching system wet. We get it though, it’s a valid question to something that is still relatively unknown to most people. So, let’s jump into a proper answer for basic ostomy care.
Yes, you can still shower, get in a bath, or even swim with your pouching system on. However, it’s always recommended to empty your pouch before doing any of these things simply in case something did go wrong during the time you were getting wet (but this is extremely rare, so don’t fear). Also, when showering or bathing, feel free to do so without your pouching system on, or else you can leave it on. That’s up to you.
Another thing to consider is that water won’t hurt or even get inside your body through your stoma. However, if you’re showering with it exposed, make sure that the water pressure that’s hitting your skin isn’t too strong and hitting your stoma directly, as this could cause irritation. Your ostomy care is important, so don’t overdo anything if you’re unsure how it will affect your skin surrounding the area.
The biggest thing to remember is that you need to check your pouching system before and after any water activities, as prolonged exposure could cause the system to loosen. You don’t want this to happen, as it could mean changing a system before you need, and that’s both annoying to stop all activities and take care of and also a waste of your ostomy supplies.
Still, rest easy knowing your pouching system is waterproof, as they’re made this way for ease of bathing and showering. Additionally, use a towel or hairdryer on cool when drying the tape and cloth backing of your pouching system. This will enable it to stick better to your system after you’ve been in the shower or the pool, and the fewer complications you have, the easier your life will be while having an ostomy.