Can you go swimming with a catheter?

Are you living with a urinary catheter but love swimming? Then you will have probably asked yourself if you can still do that. And the easy answer to this question is: Yes, you absolutely can! You can still live a perfectly normal life with a catheter inserted; your favourite activities included! So, whether you have a urethral or a suprapubic catheter, swimming is generally always an option.

Just be aware that with a suprapubic catheter, you will have a small incision in your abdomen, and you should wait for that to be fully healed before you consider going swimming. It’s also super important that you speak to your nurse or doctor before attempting to enter the water again. This is to make sure that everything is as it should be and to minimise the risk of infection.

If you go swimming, you might be able to replace your drainage bag with a catheter valve which is a much more convenient and discreet option. Please don’t just use one, though! It’s crucial that you speak to a healthcare professional first as a catheter valve might not be suitable for you. If you have to wear a drainage bag, make sure to empty it before going for a swim.

OUR TOP TIPS FOR GOING SWIMMING WITH A URINARY CATHETER

  • Make use of the changing rooms for disabled people if that makes you feel more comfortable!
  • Double check that your catheter is properly positioned and secured.
  • Make sure that the skin around your catheter is clean and dry and that there are no wounds or signs of infection.
  • Only go swimming if the water is clean and treated.
  • After leaving the water, clean and dry the catheter site. Good hygiene is super to reduce the risk of infection!

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