Worried about having sex?

Worried about having sex?

Tips about your sex life after stoma surgery

How will the surgery affect my sex life?

Intimacy following stoma surgery very much depends on the nature of the operation you've had. For instance temporary or permanent impotence and/or discomfort could be the result in case of the removal of the rectum or bladder, although most men have no problems reaching orgasm.

If you experience impotence you should contact your stoma nurse – there are several options to minimise the problem. It is important to try and talk openly with your partner about the changes, even if you are feeling self-conscious.

Do not shy away from talking to your stoma nurse, who is used to discussing such issues and will be able to help you in many ways, both with advice and with accessories.

Is there anything I should avoid altogether?

As a general rule you should talk with your doctor about any types sexual activity you should avoid.

Depending on the reason for your surgery you might need to avoid anal intercourse. If you are a woman and have had vaginal reconstructive surgery, you will need your doctor to advise on whether it is safe to resume.

How can I avoid pain during intercourse?

While it can help to experiment with sexual positions that shifts weight away from your ostomy, supporting yourself with a pillow, and the use of sexual lubricants, the most important help is to talk openly with your partner about these changes, and to try not to feel self-conscious because of the operation.

Also remember that there are other ways of having sex than intercourse.

What to do with my pouch?

Firstly, keeping the pouch clean and empty is a good idea. You may want to put a new pouch on beforehand, and there are several good options if you'd like to use a smaller pouch.

Some people switch to an ostomy cap. Other people may switch to a smaller mini-pouch or a closed-end pouch. All of these choices are smaller, less bulky and more discreet.

What can I wear to feel more confident?

Men might consider wearing a tank top that covers the pouch or a cummerbund-type garment to help secure the pouch.

If you are a woman, intimate apparel such as a chemise, a corsage or camisole can help you feel attractive while still covering your pouch completely. Crotch-less underwear might also be an option to provide more support for the ostomy, as your body moves.

Another product option is a pouch cover, which can come in an array of different colours. This may allow you to feel more confident.

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