It can be hard to be ready to intimate with a stoma. In this article, we will discuss how you may start getting intimate with your spouse after ostomy surgery.
During the recovery phase after surgery, your primary focus may be to adapt to living with a stoma. It can be hard to feel ready to be intimate. It is perfectly normal. You will need to give yourself some time to get into the comfort zone.
If you feel for your spouse, you may talk to him or her. He or she may be more anxious than you, so your comforting words will be quite valuable in this regard. You can promote intimacy by holding hands and getting closer. Trying to relax and feeling comfortable is the key here.
What to do in case of an ileostomy or colostomy
Some types of ostomy surgeries can result in the loss of sexual function, mainly due to changes to the concerned area or maybe because you are not yet ready. You may want to explore different positions for intercourse to find out what works best for you. You may need to discuss this matter with your ostomy care nurse to have a piece of advice.
What to do in case of a urostomy
A urostomy generally results in the loss of sexual function, mainly due to physical changes. It has more to do with nerves, blood supply, and the impact of surgery on the nerves and tissues that promote sexual functions. You may want to discuss this matter with your ostomy care nurse before and after surgery.
Look for the right time
It is not necessary to wear a specialized stoma bag or cap for intimate times, although you may choose to do so if you want. You can wear a small-sized stoma bag or a stoma cap.
You may want to change your pouch before intercourse because an empty ostomy pouch tends to remain more discreet and feels clean. If you must hide this bag, you can wear an ostomy support band, which is wide enough to conceal the whole ostomy appliance.
Sexual functionality-related issues that women face after ostomy surgery include pain, dryness, or loss of sensation. Using lubricants or changing positions may help relieve the problem.
Urostomy surgery may involve the removal of the womb and part of the vaginal wall. It can result in pain or loss of sensation. Using lubricants and avoiding deep penetration may help in this regard.
Some types of ostomies do not take away your ability to conceive. You will, however, need to discuss with your doctor whether or not it is OK for you to be pregnant. Moreover, you may want to talk about the impact of using contraceptives with your doctor.
While being pregnant, the size of your stoma may change. You are going to need to use a stoma template more often to prepare the right-sized opening in the flange of the ostomy appliance before wearing it.
The sexual functionality-related issues that tend to occur after ostomy surgery in men mainly include difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection and ejaculation. This surgery may result in damage to the nerves and vessels responsible for promoting sexual functions.
The good thing is that these problems subside over time as the nerves recover. In some cases, however, the problem may persist. You may want to talk to your doctor in this regard. The doctor may recommend your drugs and treatments to help you achieve and maintain an erection.