“I won’t have sex again – ever”
“Who would want to sleep with an ostomate?”
“My sex life is ruined. I’ll end up alone.”
This is probably one of the first thoughts that popped into your mind after you got your new stoma. It’s understandable. You’ve had surgery. A bag is hanging out from your stomach. It is normal to have insecurities. Normal to lose some self-confidence. But it’s far away from true. Stoma and sex or love are not exclusive. If you have a stoma, you can still maintain a healthy and active sex life without restrictions. You can be intimate with your partner without worrying about your ostomy.
So, can you remain sexually active after your ostomy surgery? We will tell you right now: YES!
You can resume your sexual activity around 3 weeks post-surgery or with your physician’s approval. You don’t have to worry about any complications, as sexual dysfunction after ostomy surgery is more of a psychological issue rather than a physical issue.
70%* of ostomates that did resume their sexual activity after surgery reported no problems at all when having sex with a stoma. 50%* of ostomates that give up on sex after their surgery, did it mostly due to fear of rejection, negative body image, and low self esteem.
Therefore, you should find a way to overcome those issues that exist rather in your head than anywhere else. This is easier said than done – you might think.
This is why we collected everything that can help you in having love and sex that you long for, also with a stoma.
This article covers topics like communication, feeling attractive, and contraception – individually for men and women. Additionally, we have 15 exciting tips for fun and spice in the bedroom to have stoma sex that will be better than before!
*The data is taken from a study published by the United Ostomy Association of America, Inc. carried out on 100 male ostomates that were sexually active before their surgery.
Whether you’re dating someone new, or you’re already intimate with a partner, communication is the key for having good sex with an ostomy without any problems.
When your partner doesn’t know what an ostomy is, how can you expect them to act normal? Make sure you explain to them what the bag sticking out of your tummy is and how it works. When they understand your condition, they’ll be more comfortable with it. They’ll see that it’s not that big of a deal. It doesn’t affect your sex life. If you’ve been with someone long, you can take the chance to learn both about your condition. Discover together what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s a chance to bond and become more intimate together.
Here’s a list of things you should consider talking about for a comfortable and enjoying intimacy with an ostomy:
- Your condition: Teach your partner what an ostomy is. Tell him/her how it works. Explain that if they touch it or rub their body against the bag it won’t kill you. Make sure they know that it’s a simple orifice that normally requires no special attention or care during sex.
- Concerns: Tell your partner about what’s concerning you about your ostomy. Leakage, farts, odor, and negative body image are all legitimate concerns that you can discuss. Chances are, your partner will completely understand, and won’t be repelled by any of these when they happen.
- Painful positions: Let your partner know which positions are more comfortable to you now that you have an ostomy.
- Sexual issues: Whether you’re having vaginal dryness or pain (women) or problems getting an erection (men), let your partner know what they can do to help.
Some women might have vaginal dryness, bleeding, or pain early on after the operation.
While all are normal, make sure to let your partner know about them so that they don’t think that they’re doing something wrong.
Numerous intimacy lubricants are available and can be used just until things get back to normal down there.
Some men might have erectile dysfunction after their surgery.
This can be related to the surgery itself, but it’s usually more related to the loss of self-confidence and the associated performance anxiety. In case you haven’t heard it before: It happens to everyone.
- Everything else: Whether you’re an ostomate or not, talking to your partner about your sexual desires,
giving feedback, sharing your fantasies, discussing problems and fears are all essential to improving your sex life.
You don’t need to overthink it. Your partner will understand that it’s a normal physiologic occurrence, and really not big of a deal. You just need to openly talk about it. Focus on enjoying yourself instead of worrying about how you look and how you are performing. With time, you’ll be back on top of your game. If the problem persists (and it likely won’t), numerous therapies can help.
In any scenario, the most important thing that you should know is that you need to be positive. You need to be accepting and loving of your stoma. Once your partner sees how confident and comfortable you are with your ostomy, it won’t get in the way anymore when having sex. You’ll get the stoma love you deserve.
So, you’re looking to spice up your stoma sex life? Besides specific tips for men & women, we have the MUST-KNOW for you to seamlessly have intimacy & sex without having to worry about your ostomy:
- Empty your pouch: Having sex with a full ileostomy, urostomy or colostomy bag is a bad idea. You’ll be risking its rupture. Imagine stopping in the middle of sex to clean poop off your partner. Even if it doesn’t rupture, the bag will get in the way and might make pushing against your partner impractical. So, try to always empty your pouch when anticipating sex
- Make sure your bag is secure: Before heading to the bedroom, make sure that your bag is properly sealed and held securely in place to avoid any mishaps. You can consider using an ostomy intimacy belt to keep everything in place.
- Experiment with different positions: After getting your ostomy, you might not remain comfortable with your old moves. Make sure to try out new positions, and see which ones you’re more comfortable with. Top? Bottom? Tilting to the side? See which works for you and your stoma best.
- Lean away from your bag: If you like being on top, you can try to tilt a bit to the ostomy-free side to avoid any friction or pressure against your ostomy.
- Try some sexy stoma lingerie: You can spice up your sex life with ostomy underwear or intimacy covers that fit your body and condition perfectly (see below)
- Prevent stoma odor: Stoma odor might be a turnoff, so you might want to try and prevent it. Use a bag with a filter and bag deodorants to prevent any stinky smells when intimate.
- Have some sense of humor: Stoma fart? You can both laugh about it. It makes things more relaxed and keeps you going.
- Give your stoma a name: Well, you probably already know that some couples give names to each other’s intimate parts. Include your stoma. It can make things more natural and eliminate any awkwardness when you want to address a stoma-related issue. We asked a group of ostomates and gathered their top stoma names – here are the winning ones: Bud, McNasty, Paloma the stoma, Burpy, Belly Butt, Moaning Myrtle, Noisy Nancy, Stormy
- Control your output: If you’re expecting to have sex tonight, you might want to keep away from foods that stimulate your stoma, like specific fruits, vegetables, and beans. Check out our other article to learn more about ostomy-friendly foods for colostomies and ileostomies. Alternatively, you can try colostomy irrigation to control your stoma output – sounds great?. Learn here about the technique to keep your colostomy poop-free for up to 24 hours!
- Keep your head in the game. Erectile dysfunction is not uncommon for men after ostomy surgery. It’s mostly related to performance anxiety and self-image negativity. To deal with this, you need to get outside of your head and into your bed. Feel your partner and be in the moment. Make sure that every shred of your focus is on your sensations and your partner. This is the best way to combat performance anxiety after ostomy surgery.
- Masturbate. Yes, you read it right. If you’re not having sex, masturbating can maintain the blood flow to your penis and keep it in a fit condition. If you’re already with a partner, masturbating alone can give you back your confidence and help you see that there’s no physical problem with your penis.
- Use lubricant if you’re dry or if penetration is painful. This problem can be a result of your ostomy surgery itself, or a result of your negative body image and feelings of insecurity while having sex. Either way, lubricants, like those by Durex and EasyGlide, can help make everything go smoothly until your natural systems kick back in.
- Stay relaxed. Being over-stressed and worried about how you look and how close your partner’s head is to your ostomy will prevent you from enjoying sex. With proper communication and stoma love, you can stay relaxed and get the orgasm you deserve.
- Don’t worry if you don’t orgasm the first few times. As your mind is still adjusting, and you’re still too self-conscious, it’s expected that you’d be too distracted to reach orgasm.
- Try masturbating or using toys alone if you’re having trouble when getting intimate with a partner. By practicing alone, you can see if everything is working fine, and will soon learn that your concerns are all in your head.
Looks aren’t everything, but they sure do play a big role in intimacy, love and sex, including ostomy sex. While having intimate moments in the bedroom, you might want to keep the bag contents (and maybe the stoma itself) out of sight. Here are some helpful ostomy covers, wraps and other products for spicy ostomy intimacy:
- Avoid transparent bags: When having sex with a stoma, it’s usually more logical to choose an opaque bag that keeps the output out of sight.
- Use ostomy covers for intimacy: Give your pouch a nice little sleeve to make it more beautiful! On etsy.com you can find many ostomy covers for intimacy.
- Ostomy wraps for intimacy: Intimacy wraps, binders, and belts are very popular among ostomates when having sex. They keep your ostomy bag out of sight, and they hold it securely in place. Ostomy belts like the Stealthbelt are very discrete and don’t feel out of place when you wear them
- Use a smaller ostomy bag: A large 12-inch bag that goes down to your thigh might not be the sexiest thing there is. Consider changing your ostomy bag into a smaller one before sex.
Use an ostomy cap or intimacy pouch: Ostomy caps are a good alternative to small bags. They are just big enough (usually 3 inches) to cover your ostomy, and don’t extend any further. You can find simple opaque ones, but also more creative options.
Try out crotchless panties or teddies. In addition to being hot, these items can cover your ostomy pouch away from sight and you don’t even have to take them off. Many ostomy underwear for women are available in the market to help you feel more sexy and feminine. Dantel lace wraps and high-waisted panties and thongs can all spice up things in bed. You can find different styles on ostomy underwear sellers like Vanilla Blush.
Try wearing some sexy boxer shorts. They can help you feel sexier, and get you back on top of your game.
If you want to hide your bag while in your underwear, opt for high-waisted boxers and briefs that go over your ostomy.
If you’re thinking about family planning (or not!), then there are a few things you should know. Contraception after ostomy surgery is very similar to what you’re already used to.
Contraception and fertility for Ostomy Women
In most cases, ostomy surgery does not interfere with your ability to get pregnant. However, if you’re planned for radiotherapy or your surgery prevents future pregnancy, then you might want to consider freezing your eggs for later.
If you’re fertile and considering contraception, oral contraceptives might not be ideal for you with an ostomy. Contraceptive pills are absorbed through the intestines and, if part of them is removed, the pills might not work. Other contraceptive methods like condoms, IUDs, diaphragms, and injections can still work perfectly.
Contraception and fertility for Ostomy Men
Most men remain fertile after their ostomy surgery. However, if your surgery included bladder removal or extensive pelvic resection, then you mi
ght lose your ability to have children. You will still be able to orgasm normally, however, your orgasm might be dry (no ejaculation). But the feeling
is there as before. If your surgery or therapy will make you infertile, freezing your sperm in a bank is always an option.
In fertile ostomate men, using a condom is as good as always. A vasectomy is an alternative and more permanent (but still reversible) option.
Having an ostomy is only a problem for homosexual individuals in certain specific cases. Some extensive ostomy surgeries might involve the removal of the lower part of the rectum and the anus, which then will be closed. Hence, this might be a problem for homosexual men who are receivers in anal sex. If this applies to you, then make sure you mention it to your surgeon when planning your treatment.
Either way, keep in mind that sex is not only about penetration and there’s so much more to it. You and your partner just need to adjust to a new dynamic.
Sex with a stoma can be as fun and exciting as regular sex. Sexual problems after ostomy surgery are usually not related to the surgery itself. They’re a result of insecurity, loss of self-confidence, being self-conscious when performing, and worrying about how you look.
It’s normal for these thoughts to cross your mind. After all, your body did go through some major physical changes. However, these ideas should not stay there. That stoma saved your life, and it’s a part of you that you and your partner should love. Your body is perfect the way it is. Sex might not be the best at first, but it gets better. If you accept this and have a positive attitude towards intimacy and your stoma, your sex and love life will flourish and become better than how it was before your stoma.
If you’re still missing the partner to have spicy stoma sex, don’t miss to check out our awesome dating tips for ostomates. We will show you the secrets to slay the dating game without any concerns, and we guarantee you – you will find your perfect match without any concerns. Also, you will learn about the probably most difficult question: how and when to tell your date about your ostomy.
Could you still not find the answer to your question? We have collected the most frequently asked questions related to stoma sex and stoma love.
Does colostomy cause impotence?
Ostomy surgery by itself is not usually the direct cause of erectile dysfunction. Male sexuality is largely dependent on psychology. A negative body image, loss of self confidence, and performance anxiety can all lead to erectile dysfunction after your ostomy surgery. Worrying about how you look and how you perform are usually the reason behind impotence after ostomy.
Can you have sex in the bathtub with a stoma?
You can have sex in the bathtub with a stoma, nevertheless, being in the shower or bathtube will not prevent secretions and feces from coming out of your stoma. In case of uncontrollable or high output, it is advisable to keep the bag on during sexual activity in the shower or bathtub.