Sex After Ostomy Surgery: Do’s and Don’ts

Are you worried about your ostomy’s impact on your sex life? The good news is that it may not have any impact at all. Explore some simple do’s and don’ts here.

Sex after Ostomy Surgery - Do's and Don'ts

Learn the do’s and don’ts of sex after ostomy surgery.

Yes, it is possible to continue to have a healthy sex life – or even improve upon it – after ostomy surgery. Here are a few intimacy do’s and don’ts to consider after your operation.

DO start slowly. You’ll need to take it easy and gently to start. Keep in mind that tenderness and romance make sex pleasurable as well. Remember that loving, kissing, and touching are an important part of sexuality.

DON’T change anything (unless you want to). How do people with stomas have sex? The same way as people without stomas. Conventional sexual positions are almost always possible. Of course, sex is about your comfort level and individual preferences.

DO empty your pouch. Take a few minutes before you get intimate to empty your pouch. It will give you a little more confidence and ease your mind.

DON’T let the pouch get in the way. If your pouch doesn't have a comfort panel, consider using a fabric pouch cover made from cotton during sex. This will prevent the pouch from rubbing on you and your partner’s skin. It will also hide contents if you use a transparent pouch. Another option is to wear an ostomy wrap with an inner pocket. The wrap will conceal your pouch and hold it close to your torso. There are also various clothing accessories such as belly bands, cummerbunds, and crotchless underwear that help conceal the pouch during intimacy.

DO wear what makes you comfortable. Some women choose to wear a silky or cotton vest-like top that covers the pouch and torso. There are also smaller pouches that can be worn discreetly for certain stomas.

DON’T use the stoma for intercourse under any circumstances. You or your partner should never use the stoma for a sexual activity (penetration).

Download the full pdf: Living with an Ostomy: Sex & Parenthood