Intimacy and Relationships

Intimacy and Relationships: Nurturing Connection with a Colostomy


Intimacy and relationships are integral to the human experience, and having a colostomy should never be a barrier to fulfilling connections. This article explores the vital aspects of intimacy and relationships for individuals with a colostomy, including navigating intimacy with an ostomy, open communication with partners, and strategies for building and maintaining meaningful relationships.

Navigating Intimacy with an Ostomy

Navigating intimacy with a colostomy may require some adjustment, but it should never compromise the quality of your intimate life. Consider these key aspects:

  • Self-Confidence: Embrace your body and your colostomy. A positive self-image and self-confidence are attractive qualities that can enhance intimacy.

  • Education: Educate yourself and your partner about your colostomy. Understanding how it works and its role in your life can alleviate concerns and misconceptions.

  • Timing: Choose a comfortable time to discuss your colostomy with your partner. It might be helpful to have this conversation when you’re both relaxed and have time to communicate openly.

  • Intimate Apparel: Explore ostomy-specific lingerie and intimate apparel designed to support and conceal the pouch during intimate moments.

Communication with Partners

Open communication is essential for nurturing trust and understanding within your relationship. Here’s how to approach it:

  • Honesty: Be open and honest with your partner about your colostomy. Share your thoughts and feelings, and encourage your partner to do the same.

  • Answering Questions: Be prepared to answer your partner’s questions about your colostomy. Address their concerns and provide information as needed.

  • Listening: Pay attention to your partner’s feelings and concerns as well. Listening and empathizing can strengthen your connection.

  • Seeking Support Together: Consider attending support groups or counseling together. These resources can provide guidance and strategies for navigating the challenges you may face.

Building and Maintaining Relationships

Building and maintaining relationships with a colostomy is not only possible but can be deeply rewarding. Consider these strategies:

  • Embrace Vulnerability: Allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your feelings with your partner. This can deepen your emotional connection.

  • Date Nights: Continue to enjoy date nights and special moments together. Make the effort to keep your relationship vibrant and exciting.

  • Prioritize Self-Care: Taking care of your physical and emotional health is essential to ensure you have the energy and resilience to nurture your relationship.

  • Support Each Other: Support your partner and allow them to support you. A strong relationship is built on a foundation of mutual care and understanding.

  • Adaptation: Be prepared to adapt your intimacy to your current comfort level and needs. Experiment with different positions or approaches to find what works best for you both.


In conclusion, intimacy and relationships are vital components of a fulfilling life, and having a colostomy should never deter you from experiencing them fully. By navigating intimacy with an ostomy, maintaining open communication with your partner, and investing in building and maintaining relationships, you can enjoy deeply meaningful and loving connections. Your colostomy is a part of your journey, but it does not define the richness of your relationships or the love you can give and receive.

Ostomy Canada Society Inc. is not an organization of medical professionals. The information provided on our website is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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