Sexuality and ostomy are complex subjects with many facets: Below, we will break down these issues to directly discuss the physical considerations both after surgery and ongoing , and then the psychological and emotional considerations for sex and ostomy. Physical Post-Surgical For a new ostomate, the first few months after surgery can present many unique physical challenges.
Depending on the type of surgeries performed, medications administered, and which body parts are affected will determine how soon you can perform sexual intercourse. Most anxieties of post-surgery ostomates about sex are alleviated after a few months, and over time, as the body heals, most will find they can have sex just the same as before they had their surgery.
Physical factors aside, here are a few psychological issues faced by post-op ostomates are: Oral, petting foreplay , masturbation, toys, and any number of other sexual activities can be enjoyed. Physical Ongoing After a full recovery from surgery and regular sexual function and desire returns, more thoughts and concerns arise about sex.
Some common concerns and some information about them: Most men will also remain fertile, even if they cannot achieve an erection for a period after their surgery. Sexual Positions — Ostomates will find they can still enjoy sex in most positions. If some positions are uncomfortable or compromise the appliance, try something different until you find the best ones for you.
Odor — Many ostomates worry about odor and this can be a psychological factor as well. Ostomy and sex is no different. Important — no sex in or around the stoma. Empty the pouch beforehand when time allows. Keep everything clean and neat beforehand. In some instances where a patient has had surgery for debilitating health problems like cancer, the healthy partner helps to take care of the ostomate and certain bodily functions.
Working through these hard times without sex can takes a toll on intimacy and it can take time for these couples to adjust and return to a healthy sexual lifestyle again. There are some common psychological considerations for ostomates and sexuality.
Even further, we often assume that others judge us the same way we judge ourselves. But imagine if your partner, someone you care about, had the same condition and how you would feel about them. What would you be thinking, or how would you react? Most find their partner has a sensitivity and understanding towards the ostomy. For those who meet their partners after surgery, an ostomate has to find the right time to tell a partner about their ostomy.
But when and how? What do you say? The best advice would be to tell someone earlier than later. Explain the stoma, the surgery, and how it affects your physical abilities. Let them ask questions with the knowledge that they might not understand what to ask, or how to ask.
Many ladies also choose to wear a comfortable satin slip or camisole to bed with them. Men may wear a belt or similar support along with a pouch cover. Mini-Pouch Options Here are some of the best options for low-profile mini-pouches: The Mio line is pricier, but for comfort and performance you may want to keep them around, even if just for occasional use.
Hollister Premier Mini Pouch — Hollister has a 7 inch mini-pouch in their Premier line of 1-Piece pouches that feature a SoftFlex barrier that is gentle on the skin. A Few Last Thoughts… There are some cases where physical impairment may prevent one from having sex.
This can happen sometimes based on previous health and the types of surgery needed. Some types of colorectal cancer can result in removal of the nerve pathways that cause erections. In some cases, colorectal surgery can result in the vagina changing shape and structure. All of these physical changes can limit some types of sexual activity.
Homosexual couples deal with all of the same issues as straight couples. No matter your sexual preferences and difficulties faced, consult these issue candidly with a health care professional that understands your surgery. They can provide you with advice specific to your personal needs. Additional Resources on Sex and Ostomy: