Navigating Intimacy Challenges with an Ostomy

Jul 07, 2024 3:52 pm

I can't focus on sex because I'm focused on my ostomy. My husband says my ostomy is number one in my life. I don't know how to not focus on my ostomy so much. It's like a big baby that needs TLC all the time. Grr.

Jul 07, 2024 4:14 pm

Hi. I just posted that today is my 10th year since having my ostomy surgery, and I see you are new to this journey. Please don't let having a stoma define who you are - what you can and cannot do. Now go and surprise your husband. 🌈

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Jul 07, 2024 4:14 pm

Hi cj,

  I'm not sure when you got your ostomy, but it is our number one attention getter when new. Then over time we acclimate to it and it becomes just a routine part of us. As for sex, it's one of those classic 'crawl, walk, run' scenarios. Start out pleasing yourself... then once you're comfortable with that, have your hubby watch... then let him get involved helping you... then when that gets comfortable for you, let him get more involved... and before you know it, the ostomy will take second stage and you'll be wearing out the old mattress like in the good old days. It's a re-learning experience for both of you, so just take it one step at a time... there's no rush.


Jul 07, 2024 7:25 pm

Time—that's what you need to learn to live with and later on accept your ostomy. Rome wasn't built in a day. Take it easy with your husband; just kissing, cuddling, caressing, shower, and bathroom fun for you to gain confidence in yourself again.

Jul 07, 2024 11:12 pm

I was so careful with my stoma for several months post-op. I was afraid to touch it, get it wet. Stoma farts freaked me out.

Now, 18 months later, I wash it all the time. I burp my bag without looking. I walk around the house naked (yikes) in front of my wife with my bag hanging out... full of poop.

You will get used to it. I'm even getting used to the huge bump it makes under my shirt.

Now smile and have some sex.

How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Jul 08, 2024 12:28 am
Reply to Beachboy

I'd pay good money for a photo of that "yikes" moment. Go tell Mrs. Beachboy. Have Charcoal in the background, please.

(It's his cat's name, folks)

Jul 08, 2024 12:35 am

Hmm, here's an image. Have hubby wear a spare bag. After the giggles and weirdness, go knock 🤦‍♂️😉

Nothing says I want you like equality.

Two bags are better than one.


Jul 08, 2024 1:13 am
Reply to Beachboy

And you wondered why your cat crawled up into the wall? jb

Jul 08, 2024 1:22 am
Reply to Justbreathe

The wall had hidden cameras. Smart cat. I got you, Dan.

All of you. Loved the smile.

Jul 08, 2024 5:53 am
Reply to warrior

Unfortunately, like Medusa, a peek at my naked stoma... and boom... petrification takes place, morphing you into a stone turd. Mischievous little Charcoal is immune. Noticing I'm slouching about the living room "au natural," Mrs. Beachboy stares at her toes, mumbling incoherently.

Like my old grandpappy Joe Slappy used to say: "Boy, you one fugly cuss."

Jul 08, 2024 5:58 am
Reply to warrior

Alas, little weasel Charcoal couldn't put fresh batteries in the cameras. Something about not having opposable thumbs.

Jul 08, 2024 6:02 am
Reply to Justbreathe

Since cats have 9 lives... maybe Charcoal, in a former life, hung out with Spiderman.

Jul 08, 2024 1:07 pm
Reply to Beachboy

Likely Catwoman. 😆 I think even Spidey would be afraid of your cat.

Jul 08, 2024 3:01 pm
Reply to warrior

No wonder Charcoal continually hangs out with Mrs Beachboy. Only thing I'm good for is a kibble or two.

Curses, Catwomen... (Beachboy shakes his fist).

Probably to my swarthy cat... I look like one large kibble. (Chicken flavor).

Jul 10, 2024 1:01 pm

G-Day cjotl2019, you could always go doggy then he doesn't need to see the stoma. The good thing about going doggy is you can both watch television. Regards, IGGIE

Jul 11, 2024 4:12 pm
Reply to IGGIE

😂 New meaning to TV night. 👍

Jul 12, 2024 1:24 am

I knew it! TV is going to the dogs.

(Uh oh... my cat is giving me the evil eye.)

Jul 13, 2024 4:20 pm

Tbh, I still feel a bit uncomfortable about my stoma even after 6 years. But the weird thing is my partner had to have a colostomy last year and that doesn't bother me at all!. 

Going back to when I first had my surgery, it was home from hospital a few days before I would even let him see the bag.... his response then was "is that it?" then gave me a hug and a kiss. 

Clearly, it's only a problem to me and if I feel any reservations as we cuddle up I just have to let that thought come to the forefront then chillax !!.

Jul 13, 2024 4:38 pm
Reply to Beachboy

All of you gentlemen are making me laugh! Thanks for that!

Jul 14, 2024 1:47 am
Reply to IGGIE

Yea.. " the mating game"....oops i mean the dating game of course.. cough cough..🫢

Then " lets make a deal". 🤦‍♂️

Jul 14, 2024 1:54 am
Reply to Beachboy

Hhm...Mrs..Beachboy was staring and mubbling at her toes, you say,?? Hmm. You sure she wasn't trying to decide...which foot to kick you in the bear ass with? 🤣🙄

Jul 14, 2024 1:58 am
Reply to almelia

Your partner sounds like a keeper.

I think how you feel ( it being an issue to only you) is very common amongst us all with a  stoma.   

Just gotta adjust and move on.

Jul 14, 2024 3:05 am

I hear ya, gal!

This has also been a challenge for dear husband and I. I had my ileostomy in January of this year, and when I came home from the hospital, the last thing I wanted was sex. 

In fact, I just didn't feel "sexy," especially since my husband had to empty and change my appliance for the first couple of months because I also had a broken arm with a huge cast. I started thinking of him as more of my nurse instead of my intimate partner.

While the problem was more in my head than his (no pun intended), and he also accepted and loved me just the same, even with my stoma, I still had a lot of mental adjusting to do. 

When the cast came off, and I started to look after my stoma myself, I purchased some new lingerie and some Convatec flange "caps." They are very small and don't hold much output, but if I don't eat or drink much, they are fine for those intimate moments. I just didn't want a bulky bag interfering in any way. 

These have been a game-changer for me, but everyone is individual and needs to find their own comfort level when it comes to having sex with a stoma. Some folks wear wraps around their middle to keep the bag from showing or flopping around, and that is fine too. You will eventually find your own sweet spot and regain your desire, but don't beat yourself up if it doesn't happen right away. Right now, perhaps, yes your stoma requires all your attention, but I guarantee that with time, it will become less of a "number one" requiring all of your attention. 

As others have suggested, just enjoy the holding hands, cuddling and hugging like you used to. Give each other words of love each night before you fall asleep ... when you are ready for more, you can ease into it gradually. There is no set time for regaining one's "sex factor." Oh, and talk about it as much as your husband wants to. It sounds like he's trying to understand where your mind is at, but just can't quite grasp it all yet. That's because no one except yourself can ever know what it's like to have an ostomy. We can, but we're still not in your exact shoes. Don't let yourself feel rushed into doing something you don't feel 100% into yet. The right moment will arrive.





Jul 14, 2024 4:17 am

Just remember you are still the only naked woman in the room. Your husband is not as focused on your ostomy as you are. Try to wear an ostomy cover up because it helps. We all have to remember having an ostomy was not our first choice but in most cases it has improved our health situation. I’m just happy to no longer be in constant oain. Don’t give up on intimacy , you will get more comfortable over time. 

Jul 14, 2024 5:08 am
Reply to warrior

If she could defy gravity... I'd get all ten toes at the same time.  As Mrs Beachboy says all the time......  What, did I marry? (cue the twilight zone music).


Jul 14, 2024 3:36 pm

Just an observation, it sounds like your husband is interested in sex with you. Still after the ostomy. Don't overthink it, he finds you attractive still and wants to be with you. Get out of your own head and accept that fact and enjoy the connection you two still have. 

Jul 14, 2024 3:55 pm

Lay back(or whatever position you prefer), close your eyes, relax, and let him play. There’s a whole bunch of ways to get your juices flowing and enjoy the feeling again. Coach him on what you like/want and pretty soon you’ll be chasing him around the bedroom, living room, shower, front yard, etc. 👍

Jul 14, 2024 6:00 pm
Reply to RockyB

He’s very much attracted to me even with the ostomy. I just don’t feel attractive anymore.

Jul 14, 2024 8:48 pm
Reply to cjotl2019

Yeah.. that happens. That unattractiveness feeling. The "eeew" factor.. the look in the mirror, bag haning. You' re thinking.." i wouldnt touch that" 

Common feelings, attitude. 

Part of yur new normal  is adjusting.

Easy for some of us to say " get over it".  But that takes time.   You will get there.  

Being married with an osty is a good thing these days... You got your person. 48 yrs.  That's awesome!👍

Try dating with a toilet attached to yur hip. 🤣


Jul 15, 2024 1:35 pm

Buy some Tube tops and wear them around your middle section. It covers everything even surgery scars . Not seeing it will help you relax about it. Kinda like wearing stoma lingerie 🤣