Navigating Love and Intimacy with an Ileostomy


Had my ileostomy done July 2022. Last MRI showed still cancer there so might need an operation. If I do, then my ileostomy will be permanent.

I am single, love cruising, learning about different cultures. Have two pups.

Very nervous of how to reveal my status. Everyone, I am sure, will say no big deal... but in reality that is not what I think others will feel. Can't get past this.


If the person you meet is right for you, it won't be an issue. Personally, I'd worry more about getting you right first health-wise rather than worry about what a possible partner may think of you having an ostomy.

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Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 33,450 members. Get inside and you will see.

It's not all about ostomy. Everything is being discussed.

Many come here for advice or to give advice 🗣, others have found good friends 🤗, and there are also those who have found love 💓. Most of all, people are honest and truly care.

Privacy is very important - the website has many features that are only visible to members.

Create an account and you will be amazed.


Yes, I have a very close friend. We can do everything together but have not had sex. Been that way for 23 years.


Well, I'm fairly new to being an ostomate and new at being single, and I found most of the women I date are very understanding. There is more to intimacy than "wham bam thank you ma'am!" Haha


My bestie is female, no extra benefits. ‍

How to Manage Emotions with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Reply to AlexT

Agree, take care of your health and get better soon. Things will work out!


Hi D,

How do I feel about a love relationship without intimate relations? Well... a relationship is defined by the two involved, and they really shouldn't care what others think. Whether it involves intimacy or not is only for you guys to determine. Also depends on what you mean by 'intimacy', as you can be intimate without having sexual relations.

You will get past what others think, but when that will be only you will know. Don't sit around and assume (or guess) what others will think... give them the chance to surprise you. And I think you will be pleasantly surprised!



Well, I have married twice since my surgery. Both were wonderful men who died too soon. Neither gave a rat's ass about my surgery. Considered me a strong, happy woman. Yes, we were intimate until my last husband was too sick with cancer. There are worse things than ostomies!


You're dealing with your ileostomy much better than you realize. Admitting how you're really feeling shows you're on your way to accepting it. I'm not being mean about anyone else, but you will see many trying to put on a front to hide their fears. Nothing wrong with that either, they're just not at the stage you are yet to begin acceptance. It's early days and you've been through a lot and still more surgery to come, so it's only normal to have fears about the future. 99% of relationship problems are caused by our own minds. Once you accept the stoma, it's true, it won't be a problem. I think since time began, relationships without being intimate have existed, so if that's what you and a future partner want, there's nothing wrong with it. Or if you want to be intimate, that's okay. It's just what's right for you and your partner that matters. Keep fighting.

Reply to jeanneskindle

Glad to meet another person who uses 'rat's ass' in a sentence. I picked that up from my mom.

And I totally agree there are worse things than ostomies.


That is what they call a platonic relationship. I don't know what the word is for a relationship between two ostomates, perhaps there isn't one. It could certainly not involve sex and still be a very deep-rooted affair. On the other hand, the latter could be the icing on the cake. In Greek mythology, Eros is the god of love and sexual desire. His Roman counterpart is Cupid. Eros means "love, mostly of the sexual passion," and Philia means affectionate regard, friendship." In any case, nothing should stand in the way of friendship and love. How they are consummated is another story.



Don't ever let your ostomy hold you back from doing something. Well, I guess if you were going to box Mike Tyson, I would not try that. So maybe there are some exceptions. When you find someone, make sure they are into you and not a one-night stand. There are plenty of caring and understanding people out there. Just like any dating, finding Mister Right takes some effort. You got this!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to AlexT

While I love and agree with this, don't you think there needs to be a designated jail bail friend for when you allegedly need to get bailed out?

Reply to CrappyColon

Good point, one friend with money.

Reply to SallyK

Pleased to meet you! - Jeanne


Have you thought much about what you want?