One of the most common questions that ostomates have is how their ostomy will affect their intimate relationships. Here’s the good news: your ostomy surgery won’t take away or destroy your sexuality and most ostomates continue to have healthy and fulfilling sex lives following surgery.
My name is Siobhan and I lead ostomy education here at Better Health. I’ve had an ostomy myself for six years. So I know the ins and outs and ups and downs of life with an ostomy. I’m here with Duncan today and Duncan is just recently had ostomy surgery. And so Duncan has some questions about how it’s going to affect his relationship.
Right. And this is kind of a sensitive thing. I mean I’m out, I’m recovering and doing well with the diet. My wife and I, we have a good marriage. Right. But I haven’t been comfortable with sex for awhile. She’s not pushing it, but I guess the next step for me is learning how to get back to the intimate part of a relationship with the ostomy.
A part of me says it’s in the room. Does it have to be? No. So you can have a great relationship with your ostomy. You can have sex with your ostomy given doctor’s clearance. You can definitely resume a level of intimacy and romance that you want to bring back to your marriage. So with ostomy surgery, often people feel like they can’t have sex and you can’t have sex.
But there are some things to think about and know about before you have sex. One of those things is that asked me surgery might impair sexual function. So you might lose sensation. You might lose the ability to gain an erection. So those are things that you should have a very clear and direct conversation with your surgeon about ask him what he thinks might impair any sort of ability sexual function after surgery.
Okay. Yeah. In fact, I did see the doctor and he said that might happen. I just haven’t had the courage yet to, to try. I can tell you I’m still normal. I still have this. I still had the same desires, but I guess I just have to think it through is the sex act itself? I mean, if some, if the ostomy is close to the sex organs, it, I just wonder, is there any risk, anything.
Especially prepared for Duncan. I’m so glad you had the courage to ask that. I know a lot of people have those questions and they can be uncomfortable to ask. Let me reassure you that it is absolutely. Okay. Okay. To have sex when you have an ostomy, it may take a little bit of a trial and error, a little bit of experimentation.
And if you are feeling well, I say, just go for it. I know it can be a little intimidating, but sometimes you just kind of have to dive in and see what’s working. What’s not working now. If you have an ostomy and you’re wearing your ostomy bag, hat can be a little bit distracting that can kind of kill the mood.
You have some options to manage that one of those options is to wear an ostomy wrap. It’s just basically a panel of fabric that you wear around your waist. And this panel of fabric has a pocket that’s sewn into it that you can tuck the ostomy bag.
Another way that you can manage your ostomy pouch is to substitute it out, switch it out with a smaller bag. There’s something called a stoma cap, which is just around little circle that, that pops onto your barrier. And it’s, it’s still is protecting the stoma and catching a little bit of output, but it’s definitely not that bag that can be flopping around.
Now, when you’re going to get into the act, when you’re starting to get hot in. Trust me on this one. I highly advise you to empty your ostomy bag before anything gets going. That makes perfect sense. Yes. And and so you definitely don’t want to kill the mood when. Fail to contain the output. So I say Duncan good for you.
I’m glad you have a great relationship with your wife and you have that opportunity to be engage in sexual activity. And you can do it safely with your ostomy. Now, let me warn you one last thing. Never, ever put anything into your ostomy bag or your stoma. It’s a one-way process only.
Please. Don’t do it. It could damage your ostomy. I understand. Yeah. That’s that’s that makes perfect sense too. Great. Well, go ahead. Have fun. Be safe. Thank you for more ostomy tips and guidance. Join us in the rest of this video series or go to http://www.joinbetter.com.