Cycling With a Stoma

Cycling With a Stoma

Last updated 01/10/20

Cycling is a great form of exercise that allows you to work out at an intensity that’s right for you. After stoma surgery, it’s a good idea to check with your healthcare professional or STN before you begin exercising.

Below are some tips to consider when your cycling:


Building your confidence:

  • Try cycling around your nearest park or quiet local roads to initially to get comfortable and build confidence
  • Know where your nearest toilets are to give you peace of mind
  • You might want to cycle with a friend or family member to help you stay motivated
  • If you prefer to exercise indoors, use a stationary exercise bike at home or at the gym


For comfort whilst riding:

  • Try to put your baseplate on at least an hour before you exercise to allow it to properly adhere to your body as perspiration can affect the adhesive
  • If the bag moves around too much for your liking, try fitted cycling shorts to prevent the bag from moving around too much and potentially causing chafing
  • Shorts should be tight enough to hold the bag in place but stretchy enough to allow the bag to fill
  • If shorts are too tight however, this may cause ‘pancaking’ where output collects around the baseplate and may cause leakage


If you have undergone surgery to remove the rectum or anus:

  • Allow yourself time to heal following surgery
  • Experiment with different cycling shorts or saddles to get comfortable and minimise any risk of pain


If you have an ileostomy:

  • You may lose more fluid than usual through your stoma, so its especially important to stay hydrated
  • Ensure your bike has a convenient place to store a drink, or for longer rides far from home, hydration backpacks can be useful for easy storage and access to larger quantities of water
  • Ensure you carry additional stoma supplies if you are going to be out for long or far from home


As with any activity after surgery, it’s important to start with a gentle cycle and build up the distance, time and intensity of your cycling slowly. If you feel pain, stop cycling and get advice from a healthcare professional or STN.

Though you should take care to begin with, your stoma shouldn’t stop you from enjoying cycling.