After your ostomy surgery, you might have questions about how your surgery may affect your sexual health. Intimacy and intercourse are a natural part of life. That doesn’t change when you’ve had ostomy surgery – you can still have a very satisfying sex life.
Approaching intimacy again
As you recover, you will be getting used to the way your stoma and pouch look. The same will be true for your partner. Despite what we see in ads and movies, a perfect body isn’t needed for a fulfilling life or a fulfilling sex life. Feeling comfortable with these changes to your body is a critical first step in resuming intimacy.
It takes time to adjust
Once both of you are feeling more comfortable with the changes to your body, think about how you can approach sexual activity in a relaxed, non-pressured way.
Be open to discussing your feelings, too, so that your partner doesn’t misinterpret an initial reluctance to have intercourse. Share your concerns, and listen to your partner’s concerns. Honesty in talking about this topic will only help build mutual trust and respect between the two of you. Be patient and allow both yourself and your partner the time you need.
Making intimacy comfortable
Talk with your doctor or your ET Nurse about any types of sexual activity that you should avoid. You might want to try positions that keep your weight off your stoma. Some options include lying side by side, front to back, or putting a pillow under your abdomen for support. You should never have intercourse through the stoma. Depending on the reason for your surgery, you might need to avoid anal intercourse as well. If a woman has had vaginal reconstructive surgery, she will need her doctor’s OK to resume vaginal intercourse.
It’s important to feel good, not only physically but psychologically too. Anxiety and doubt affect both desire and sexual function. Anxiety also prevents you from focusing on your partner. Your self-esteem and confidence not only make you feel better generally, they help your partner feel better as well. Together, the two of you can rediscover the intimacy that you enjoyed before.