No matter whether you are young, old, married or single, ostomy surgery can have a huge impact on relationships. How your stoma will affect your partner, your ability to participate physically in an intimate relationship, and how much and with whom you should share details about your stoma may all be major concerns.
Who and how much you tell about your stoma will be entirely your choice. It is possible that during your time in hospital or when you first returned home, your partner helped to change your pouch so they may already know what your stoma looks like. If they don’t and subsequently decline an offer to see it, don’t mistake this for rejection. Some people just do not like to look at any wound!
Initially following your surgery your sexuality may be affected. You have had major surgery and your body will need time to heal so you may not have any sexual feelings for quite some time. Share your feelings with your partner and enjoy cuddling for the time being. You will know when you are ready for deeper intimacy.
When you are ready to participate in sexual activity following your surgery, you may be concerned that your stoma will be hurt or damaged. While intercourse will not harm your stoma, it is recommended that you empty your pouch immediately prior to sex to lessen the chances of any unwanted accidents. Some ostomy product suppliers have smaller pouches which may be suitable for intimate moments so check with your association what is available. Knightwear Ostomy Underwear also have some fabulous garments for intimate moments.
One of the greatest challenges faced by a person entering a new relationship is when to tell your prospective future partner about your stoma. Ultimately, only you will know when the time is right so trust your own judgement. If you care for each other, then you will probably find that telling will not make any difference to your feelings for each other.
‘More information about sexuality and body image can be found in the Dansac publications accessible through the following links’