Relationships can be complicated. Whether you’re looking for a partner, have been dating for a few months, or married for 25 years, stoma surgery will have an impact on you and your relationships. It’s common to have some anxiety about how your partner will react to your stoma.
“Will they be repulsed or frightened?”
“Will they treat me differently after surgery?"
“How will this affect our intimacy?”
Rather than being something that builds a wall between you and those who love you, having a stoma can actually bring you closer together.
After Walt had his stoma surgery, he felt unprepared for the emotional and physical implications. But his wife, Lallah, was there by his side through the worst of it, and has stayed there for the last 30 years.
Watch the video below to learn more about their amazing journey.
Keep these thoughts in mind on your post-surgery journey with your partner. (You may even want to print them out and carry them with you.)
Understandably, people have a lot of questions about intimacy after stoma surgery. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. Will I be able to be sexually active with a stoma?
A. In most cases, yes! With the right precautions and confidence, it's possible to enjoy an active sex life after the surgery. Most sexual problems after ostomy surgeries are due to anxiety, not any sort of physical issue. As long as you make yourself and your partner comfortable, you should be good to go.1
Q. Will the odor from my stoma be a “turnoff” for my partner?
A. Modern pouches are made of odor-free materials, and there are deodorizers that help reduce ostomy-related odors. Keep your body and pouch clean, and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Q. Will surgery leave me infertile?
A. Some stoma surgeries will cause men to stop producing sperm. A stoma should not prevent women from becoming pregnant, but nutritional support is advisable. It’s important to talk to your doctor to know what to expect based on your personal situation.1
Q. When should I talk to my partner about my stoma?
A. Make sure you are comfortable with your stoma, and then tell your partner. Show your partner that your stoma doesn’t change who you are. However, it’s important to talk about your stoma before engaging in sexual activity.
Q. What preparations should I make before sex?
A. These simple steps can boost your confidence:
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