Intimacy and Dating After Ostomy Surgery

Adjusting to life after ostomy surgery can be challenging, and it’s completely normal to feel uncertain or anxious about returning to dating and intimacy. Stoma surgery can significantly impact mental health, body image, and confidence, all of which are crucial when navigating dating and intimate relationships.

Sex, intimacy, and dating are essential aspects of life, and surgery should not put an end to any of them! Everyone deserves to feel fulfilled in these areas.

Tips for the First Date With An Ostomy:

  • Choose a familiar place or an activity you’re comfortable with, like your favorite restaurant, a museum, or an aquarium for your first date with an ostomy.
  • If dining out, check the menu ahead of time to ensure there are safe food options available.
  • Discuss any fears or concerns with someone you trust.
  • Wear something that makes you feel both comfortable and confident. This will help reduce anxiety and allow you to focus on the experience rather than your outfit or ostomy.
  • Consider bringing extra supplies in your bag or car if you’re worried about being away from home for an extended period.
  • Be yourself! Remember, your ostomy is just one part of who you are and certainly not the most interesting thing about you.

Tips For Sex With An Ostomy:

  • Before having sex with an ostomy, empty your pouch to feel more comfortable and secure.
  • Consider wearing an ostomy pouch cover, support belt, or ostomy-specific lingerie to boost your confidence. You might also opt for a mini pouch for those occasions.
  • Experiment with different positions to find what feels most comfortable, and remember, your stoma won’t be harmed by physical contact.

Things to Keep in Mind For Intimacy With An Ostomy:

  • Disclosing your medical history is a personal choice. Share with people you trust and feel comfortable with, and do so in your own time. It’s okay if you’re not ready to talk about it immediately.
  • Everyone heals at their own pace. Ensure your body is fully healed after surgery before engaging in sexual activity.
  • Discuss any potential risks or concerns with your physician. Scar tissue formation can occur after surgery, so using lubricant for intimacy with an ostomy, especially the first time, is advisable.

Remember, having an ostomy doesn’t prevent you from experiencing dating, intimacy, romance, and sex. It’s natural to feel nervous, but you’re not alone. Seek support from online communities, such as the Ostomy Canada Facebook group, where you can find guidance and share experiences with others in the ostomy community.

Sex With An Ostomy – Additional Resources

Explore these insightful online resources:

By Hannah Martin-Spencer, Ostomy Canada Marketing Team.

Hannah, a passionate 23-year-old from the Greater Toronto Area, is expanding her expertise in acupuncture at a Calgary post-secondary institution. With a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology, she blends her knowledge into her new acupuncture pursuit. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 16 and unsuccessful biological drug treatments, she underwent ileostomy surgery at 20. Hannah is driven to advocate for ostomy individuals. As a new volunteer, she will support Ostomy Canada with social media and fundraising. She enjoys outdoor activities, baking, and painting in her free time. Hannah’s journey of resilience and determination, with her ostomy transformation showcasing her strength, aims to inspire and support the ostomy community.


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