Join the Largest Ostomy Community
Next >

No more sex drive!


Ok, ok, perhaps ostomates can find a life partner out there. But what about sex? This is actually one of the top questions people ask me when they find out I have an ostomy. "Can you still have sex?" I tell them of course I can... but underneath my breath, I'm thinking "NO THANK YOU!"
Reasons why my sex life has not improved since installation of my permanent ileostomy: 1) I am in pain. I just don't feel up to making love. I have been to the doctors and had everything checked and been on testosterone shots... but nothing has helped. I do have my rectum out and my uterus has tilted after the rectum was removed. 2) When I had Crohn's/ulcerative colitis and when I had a straight ileoanal anastomosis, I often had perianal pain that made sex uncomfortable at the least and painful at times. 3) I'm worrying about having an accident during sex. It has happened where my bag clip came undone (damn velcro bag closures). 4) I no longer have to excuse myself to go to the bathroom "just one more time." LOL 5) I think the biggest impact the ostomy has had on my sex life is in the area of self-image, not in terms of physical functioning. I've had my ostomy for almost 20 years now, and I still have days where I look in the mirror and cry. Where I feel ugly and damaged and very unsexy. Then my husband will walk up behind me, kiss the back of my neck, and tell me and show me how he feels about me. I know that I'm so lucky to have him. He has helped me deal with the self-image issue and picks my spirits up on those days when I feel so low. As I said before, over time I have noticed greater problems with the impact of my ostomy on my self-image. Has anyone felt this way? How did you overcome this issue? Any advice would be great! Thanks ~traci~

MeetAnOstoMate - 30,199 members
Join a supportive community of individuals who understand your journey and can provide valuable insights, guidance, and companionship throughout your ostomy experience.

Hi Traci.....
I'm so-o-o sorry you're going through such pain and feelings of inadequency. I do understand. My illness and consequent permanent ileo was the end of my marriage, thus leaving me sick, scared and SINGLE, the trifecta of SUCKING !!!...

I don't love what I see in the mirror either....but have found that it didn't effect my having another relationship, "IF I LET IT"....I've had 2 long term relationships, neither ending because of my illness or surgeries. With a little preparation (such as cleaning my bag, wearing crotchless underwear, as they hold me in place), I've been told, had I not told them, they would have never known. Let's face it, when you're in the moment, they're not looking at your stomach or side...LOL

Testing of positions is also a good idea. I prefer the top, and haven't had any complaints, but there are many others that avoid rubbing or accidental pulling of your pouch. In the past, my desire has been lessened due to medications, etc... but I'VE NEVER lost my desire for intimancy. You can hold, touch and love in more than one way. Intercourse isn't the only way to give and receive pleasure. Anyone can have "Sex", but intimancy comes from love.

(You can also use the strapless elastic halter tops around your waste to hide and hold your pouch in place. They come in all colors, feel smooth and aren't binding.)  

It may no longer be spontaneous,  but can certainly be as pleasurable, tender, giving, patient, loving and  satisfying as ever......

You're obviously still a very desirable woman (According to your husbands gentle kisses), look into to his eyes and try to see what he see's.........the woman  he married, the woman he loves....then just let the rest take care of itself.  It sounds as though you've survived the worst that could happen, right?

Wishing you comfort, BEG
iam a 48 yr old male have had my ileostomy for 11yrs it took my wife 12 months to get used to it but after that it was if the ileo wasnt even there sex didnt become a problem she knows every thing about the stoma i could have felt sorry for my or made other people feel sorry for me i just think life is to short who cares what people my think be positive thats the greatest thing you can do
Your right
Browneyedgirl ..... I never thought of it that way ! Thanks so much, sometimes
when its right infront of you but and you can't see it untill someone else points it out for you!     

Oh Traci,

I am so sorry that you have gone through so much, but i know the feeling i had my Iliestomy done in June 2010, and since then my sex life with my Husband hasnt been the best but it wasnt the best before that either as i was too sick, but i do guess i am lucky in some way as he adapted to the illness better than i have, but he also works within the medical field. I am fighting pain every day only on Saturday just gone was i back in hospital because i had a burst artery AGAIN!!!!! last time this happened was after my operation in December and now after my operation in May, so bloody over it!!!!

traci i hope you keep well my darling!!!!

Take care

You are so welcome my friend....know that you're NEVER alone.

Always, BEG
Hi Traci,

I haven't read the rest of the responses to your post, but I really wanted to write back to you.  I've had my ostomy since I was 15, and that's more than 45 years now.  First time around, I was young and anxious about dating and telling, but I'd met some really nice guys, who were very accepting.  And even though I wasn't sexually active, I developed some "ok" feelings about myself.  Ironically, it was never the ostomy, that aaffected my self image.  it was all the side affects of the medications.  I became bloated with fluid, and after the surgery, when I lost about 20 lbs  ( of water) in a few weeks, I found that I'd developed stretch marks, up and down my legs, theighs, belly, breasts, and under my arms.  My teen age body looked like I'd be through the wars.....perhaps because I had.  I had also been in a back brace, due to degenerative disc disease and osteoporosis, and my then larger breasts, streched out even more and the underlying muscles were basically destroyed.  And then I got well.  With clothes on, I looked fine, but it took me a lot of years, to wear short sleeves, or shorts.  Even into my 20's and after I married, I carried with me that poor body image.  Weight has continued to be a struggle, so I had that to deal with also.  I divorced in my 40's and found myself back in the dating world.  That was difficult, and although I'm still single, I've met some really nice guys for whom my body was not even  concern.....they thought I was "sexy".  I don't know when it happened, but over time, I came to see all my imperfections and scars, as my "badges of honor"....or scars of survival.  I'm here, life is good, and I'm going to make the most of everything I have left.....  I just had cataract surgery , and for the first time in 50 years, I don't need glasses.  But now, I can see my wrinkles even more clearly.  I'm just going to wink at them.    It really matters how you talk to yourself, and try to feel good that the man in your life still finds you desirable.  sometimes, we hurt ourselves more by what we think that what the disease actually did to us.  Best of luck to you.  Writing this was cathartic for me.  I hope it helps.  
* Please, do not post contact information, personal information or advertising.
All times are GMT - 5 Hours