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Sex and relationship advice after a stoma operation

After surgery it is up to the individual who they tell about their stoma and when.

Sex and relationships after stoma surgery

It is important that you feel comfortable with your partner; communication and trust are key to establishing a sexual relationship after your surgery. Allow enough time for healing before trying to regain your full sex life but do not forget about touching, kissing and sharing a bed as these can help provide the intimacy that you and your partner need.

Your stoma can be well concealed under your clothes and no-one would know it is there but when it comes to sexual relations, it is impossible to conceal.Once you have gone through your initial recovery period and feel ready to start having sex again do not rush yourself, find what you are comfortable with and remember to communicate with your partner. You might find it useful to experiment with different positions to find one that you are both comfortable with. Many ostomates find that a side-by-side position works well as it allows the pouch to hang down to the side and not come between them and their partner.

It is advisable to empty or change your pouch before beginning sexual activity. It may even be possible for you to wear a smaller more discreet pouch such as a Pelican Pouches Mini Size or even a Pelican Stoma Cap or Stoma Cap Plus. There is also specialist underwear available to help make you feel more comfortable and
to improve your confidence in how you look.

Issues For Men – The most common problem facing men is possible difficulties in your ability to get or maintain an erection long enough to ejaculate. Do not put too much pressure on yourself, it may take time after your initial recovery to achieve this but if you continue to experience problems speak to your
Stoma Care Nurse as it is a common issue that they will have experience with. There will more than likely be some kind of solution.

Issues for Women – The most common problem for women after surgery is the possibility of vaginal dryness. This can be overcome by using a lubricating jelly or lubricated condoms. Your doctor may also be able to advise you of other solutions suitable to your individual situation.

Homosexuality – If a gay male has had his rectum removed this may cause an issue if he has previously used his rectum as a receptive orifice for intercourse. The decision to remove the rectum is as a result of medical judgment, if this would be an issue for you then you should raise this with your doctor or surgeon before the operation to see if there is any alternative. If part of the rectum is removed, the
healing process should be complete before any attempt at penetration is made. The stoma should never be used as a receptive orifice for sexual purposes as this is likely to cause damage to the stoma and may lead to further surgery in order to fix the damage.