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Discontinued sex life

Hello, Im a new illiostomy patient. Im a bit frustrated about the death of my sex life. im a very happily married man with a beautiful daughter. Since my opperation i have been told in very clear terms that there is going to be no sex for the duration of my bag. Luckily its only 6 months until i have my reversal but when u add the 2 months prior it seems like a life sentance. I understand her feelings but im just a bit disappointed and sexually frustrated. I love my wife more than anything and i would never cheat under any circumstance. Has anybody been in a simillar position who can offer some advice?
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Hi Catt, and welcome to this site. Why don't you check out the forum dealing with intimacy and dating. I recall there was a posting some time ago by a member who lamented the death of her sex life too only to discover from a ton of responses: "It ain't necessarily so." So, who told you that you could have no sex? I suspect it was not your surgeon. Perhaps, in all due respect, your wife might also read some of these postings. Good luck!
Catt. First of all I'm sorry your wife has rejected you in this way. So many times our partners, wife's ect think that this could NEVER happen to them. Illness comes in many ways. I hope you remain understanding when and if she becomes sick. I wish you all the luck and commend you for loving and staying with someone who sounds so selfish. I can assure you that sex is NOT out of the question. Take care and keep us posted.
Hi.  Who told you that there would be no sex?.  There are many aspects to sex without actual intercourse.  My partner has problems because of several operations for prostate cancer and I have a colostomy.  We satisfy each other without actual intercourse.  If you really love each other and very open you can use other ways to satisfy each other.   Remember the necessity is the mother of invention and you can do other methods to develop a very satifying sex life without intercourse.  Have an open mind.   Good luck.
hi, I don't think for one minute that there is a medical reason for no sex, as I have asked my nursing colleagues as I am now retired and not so up to date, if there would be any physical problems or concerns with a person having sex after an ileostomy or colostomy. Everyone did some checking and all have come back with the same conclusion its a big fat NO.
You are completely capable of enjoying the pleasure of intimacy in whatever way you find satisfying.
I think it might be an emotional response from your partner. It may not necessarily be because she is grossed out, she may be concerned that you could be hurt, or the bag could come away.
I would suggest that you sit down and have a very frank conversation and ask her what her concerns are and that you want her honesty and will not take personally anything that she has to say. This should reassure her that you are not just after sex but worried about her concerns or fears.
If she is grossed out or worried about the bag coming loose, then ask her if you could wrap yourself in ceran or glad wrap (the clear plastic on a roll that clings to itself). This will hold the bag secure and you could always wear a T shirt to cover it.
I am confident that if she is reassured that you won't come to any harm, and you wrap/cover up it won't be on display and she won't be so bothered by it.
Please try to understand her perspective and be patient but honest with each other.
I wish you well and good luck. Lorraine

51 year old male here. There is a belt you can wear that completely covers the pouch. I have one and it works great. My ileostomy has never had any impact on my sex life, and I am single.

Good Luck

James Matta
Rhode Island

catttters wrote:
Since my opperation i have been told in very clear terms that there is going to be no sex for the duration of my bag.

Any particular reason? If you cover up with a wrap or belt, then it's no different from her wearing lingerie. There certainly aren't any medical reasons to stop for that long.

For many of us, our ostomy gave us back our sex life, I know it did for me after 5 years of virtually no intimacy because of my illness.

Wishing you the best!
Have you tried wearing a very small closed-end pouch during sex?  I used this when I had my colostomy, it was maybe a quarter of the size of a normal bag.  I equated it to putting on a condom (as far as the amount of time it took), very quick.  My wife had no issues with it.  It almost felt like I had no bag on because it was so small.  It did not really get in the way either.
Sorry but what a self-centered idiot she must be!!!!!!!!
James Matta good one, i thought they were only available for women, being flippant i think in our situation my husband would just love to wear his tool belt! so romantic LOL. Lorraine
Wow, this is different!  Who told you no sex for 6 months.  With a normal pouch you folded it into 3 sections, and use maybe 3 inch X 3 tape to cover it.  You tell your wife "I got it there playing, whatever she'll never see the difference".  No problem, go for it!
I don't know who told you no sex life until reversal, because it's totally possible after the initial 6-week healing process.  I hope this wasn't your wife's decision, because that would not be very loving.  Sex is no different - just flip the bag out of the way and go to it!

Thanks for all the replies, advice and concerns. There is definately no medical reasons or doctors advice saying i cant. My wife was ho9nest with me from the start and said there will definately be no sex for the duration of my bag. The thought of my bag and its contents being so close to her during intimicy freaks her out. i have suggested small bags, wraps, coverings etc but the thought is still there. I love and respect my wife and can understand her feelings but Im also disapointed that she cant find an emotional way around it. I guess there is never a 100% guarantee that it will not leak and thus is the basis of her concerns. She will lend a "hand" without her involvement (me touching or arousing her) occasionally but its the emotional and intimacy sharing that i really miss. Im going to gradually try to increase the cuddles and try for longer kisses in the bedroom and see if i cant get it to lead further but i will most definately respect her wishes and feelings. i know she loves me with all her heart and i her like wise so we will handle what ever challenges that arrive but i still miss the close contact more than the intercourse.
Well I admire you immensely, you sound like a wonderful husband and I know I will be unpopular saying this, but when I wrote my initial response I thought it would be an emotional reason on your wife's part.
it is so easy to judge but it is not for any of us to pass judgement. You know your wife and your marriage and you obviously care for each other.
Just remember that you will be having the reversal and the old adage this too will pass.
I don't think any amount of cuddling or kisses will get you near the goal posts as women are driven in a different way, meaning we don't get aroused in the same way as a man, it is in (most women not all women) our minds and if she feels so strongly about it you may just have to take things in hand (pardon the pun).
But I wish you both all the very best for the future.
You are right about the mind thing lorraine-cooper 1960. I talked to my wife about her feelings last night. It turns out it is not the pouch thing like she said the day i got home. She is more trusting of that now. The problem is she thinks of herself as my nurse now. Always worring whether im ok or overdoing it or if my appliance is ok. The changing of the appliance etc etc has well and truly taken away any chance. I said i will be my own nurse then but she said it wouldnt matter mentally and that i wont be able to til im more healed. She said it doesnt matter what we do her mind wont be in it. I will respect her feelings and will probably understand them one day soon, but considering my appliance only gets changed every 3 days it makes it very hard. I feel hurt, deeply disappointed and rejected. Im still the same person just with an extra part. I will just retreat into myself for a while and absorb everything and im sure it will get easier to accept over time. Our love can get through anything but this is a challenging time.
There has been plenty of good advice already,   are you able to do exercise.   If you are able to do some sort of physical exercise so you may appear to your wife as not so helpless and prove that the bag will stay on when doing something physical.    I  still ride surfboards and I have had an ileostomy for 15 years.   The stoma never gets hurt and the board is much harder than another persons body.
Its difficult for your wife to get her head around the change, but its worth trying to look more healthy and physical if you know what I mean.

All the best
Wow, sorry to hear about your frustration concerning your depleted sexual activity since you have the ileostomy.  I recommend you read Brenda Elsaghers book: "Its in The Bag and Under the Covers."   It is the sharing of personal stories by people with ostomies and their significant others and how they dealt (or chose not to deal) with life with an ostomy.   Sorry you are going through this type rejection when you probably need more feelings of acceptance than ever before.

* Certified Wound,Ostomy, Continence Nurse (CWOCN)
* Registered Nurse
* Bachelor of Science in Nursing
* Creator of the "Anatomical Apron"
Clinical Instructor for WCEI
OK, I am a 61 year young WOMAN with a permanent ileostomy since 1990.  I am responding because during intercourse, I prefer to be on top.  I don't know any reason you can't have intercourse, just because of the bag.  Only one time in my life, did my bag come off during intercourse, and we just both laughed it off.  If you have no pain, I'd give it a try to see if there are any negative after effects.  I don't believe there will be.  Go for it!

Cat I am not trained in the mental field, but I personally have a permanent attachment so I know all the bad things that can happen. I honestly feel since I am been graced with having a lovely wife and two boys for the last thirty years that my wife saw me when I had to deal with my illness that caused the problems that the attachment is a lot easier on both or us. I did take psychology and psychiatry classes in college, but I leave all that to a friend who has a doctorate in both

I know that you know about the wraps, but I can honestly say since I hate the attachment I think I am more apt to be more sensitive about it then my wife. My sex life because of the damage the surgery caused to my nerves has made it impossible for me to get an errection without drugs which that itself takes away from the excitement for my wife since even though she excites me it doesn't show unless I take the drugs. Now taking it one step further I have MS which made it so the little blue pill wouldn't work so I have to use a shot to get an errection which really makes it harder to make things more natural.

I love my wife, but knowing how bad things were before my colostomy I think you are extremely lucky that you can get a reversal. Wraps work great and the chances of your bag falling off is very unlikely, but conquering that mental block I feel is something you have to deal with yourself. I am sure your wife doesn't like seeing it there, but if you can make things more appealing yourself I am sure you can get where you want to be in your relationship.

I know its difficult, but If you can act like the attachment isn't there then you can convince your wife things haven 't changed. I know you will get the reversal soon, but if I were you I would honestly go to someone in one of the mental fields I mentioned above since I am sure they could help you do things to keep your marriage together.

I am a little crazy since I can somehow find the funnier ways of things that happen to me even when My MS makes things even harder to deal with things. I am alive, and even though I cannot do the things I could when I was younger I just don't let things tear me apart mentally which I know sounds crazy
This isn't what you want to hear, but when I had my original ileostomy, I was 27 and single.  My surgeon said to me "Honey, I know this is hard, but it's going to be your opportunity to separate the men from the boys."
I have completely lost all my sexual urges since I had my surgery 4 years ago.. I actually get physically sick at the thoughts of having sex.. My husband, on the other hand, has not lost any of his urges,, he is not bothered at all by my stoma and appliance.. has anyone else had this happen to them after surgery??
beatmaid wrote:
I have completely lost all my sexual urges since I had my surgery

Beat, I am reminded of the old 'post hoc, propter hoc' fallacy which argues that because two events occurred in succession, the former event caused the latter event. I suspect that there may be other factors at play here. Maybe you should consider counseling. Life is too short to waste going down blind alleys.
Firstly I think everyone has been very frank and honest. I don't believe that having a stoma would be the sole cause of lack of sexual intimacy, there must be some other underlying reason which has provided an excuse. Primeboy put it very succinctly and I value his opinion, he seems to cut through all the BS and get to the point. We all respond differently and not always correctly, but love should overcome any problems, it should not condemn, nor judge, or keep account of rights and wrongs. I don't have a solution but best wishes and I hope you get to the bottom of things.
Cattters...............I have one question........Are you changing your appliance or is the wife changing the appliance?.........Michael
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[quote="beatmaid I had to relearn just about everything from chewing, to swallowing, to breathe on my own, walk, hold a spoon,, etc...I asked the doctor was there such a thing as a female equivalent to Cialis,,,his response, "Drink some beer, and let him have his way"..  [/quote]

Since you had to relearn just about everything, Beat, I assume that you had to relearn intimacy as well. This could take time. Your doctor's advice about drinking beer then spreading your legs seems consistent with Neanderthal medical protocols. I am not impressed with the quality of the medical care you have received from the very beginning. If your insurance permits, you may want to have your medical/surgical history and records reviewed by a team of experts at some top university or renowned regional medical center. You have been through a lot and you and your husband deserve better.

I think it is really sad that your wife can't overcome this stigma related to your bag. There are small bags to use for intimacy as well as bag covers that would disguise the bag. My message to her is "GET OVER IT!"  Your still the same guy you were before the ostomy.  It's really her problem not yours. I would do whatever it takes to relieve yourself.
Hi beatmaid, oh my Lord you really have gone through it. Most of it I can relate to due to personal experience. As I said before NO ONE not a single sole should judge another person. There are many reasons for the way we and others respond to situations and it is a very complex problem. Primeboy, that was excellent information and I agree. Beatmaid I am going to message you privately as I have some things to share that I prefer not to put in the public arena. But continue to be strong, remember that you are loved and contrary to some people who believe life without sex is incomprehensible, they will have to one day face this due to one thing or another. Some people are extremely lucky and continue to have a very active sex life in to their dotage but most don't. I will message you now, and I wish you peace of mind and soul with whatever you choose or can compromise with. To be content where you are (meaning in our personal life) and to be tolerant of our/others situation and feelings is a precious commodity because all to often we want what we cannot have or hope to achieve, or are not content with our life for many reasons. I cling to my belief in God and I hope you don't find me presumptuous when i quote a couple of verses that give me peace of mind:

Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be known to God and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus Phillipians 4:6&7. Plus:
Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (John 14:27 AMP)
Sincerely Lorraine
I have pretty much accepted my fate and its time to move forward now. Love conquers all so i will just wait it out and be as supportive as i can. I would still much prefer a loving caring wife without the sex temporarily to a wife with the sex but without some of the caring and devotedness to my ongoing stoma and general health. I just think my wife is having a harder time that me adjusting to the changed circumstances as well as worrying about me being sore and careful with lifting etc til im 100% over the surgery. It must be a big mental burden to carry so i will just try and help her adjust to the situation without any added pressure of me needing sex. No sex for 6-7 months is a small price to pay for a continuing very happy marriage and a long future together. i might just get cranky and frustrated from time to time lol  

Catttters, I am very moved that you have reached a place in your life where you can understand your lovely wife's feelings. She doesn't love you less, she is just very confused where the care and nursing part of her day has turned in to an Ooh baby moment.
I understand from a professional nursing standpoint that she had to be your nurse for a period of time. I personally have always discussed very frankly with my patients on discharge if they are able to manage the care themselves, I always say if you feel you can't for any reason, medically, physically or psychological reasons then to have a professional home care nurse visit and tend to the "business". I know this flies in the wind in today's society where health care costs are so high but especially for women the lines can become blurred over roles. I also say this for the reason that it carries over to the bedroom in most cases. I say this to women as well to get help but not from their husband for the same reason. Luckily my ever loving husband has lived with medical journals, papers, research and DVDs for skills maintenance so he thought it was a walk in the park compared to that. I have been guilty of having a medical text book open at the dinner table (yes I know I was wrong in every way) but sometimes to keep up you have to do what you have to do.
It will get better and as you said you are happy to have a wife who loves you and looks out for you, I'm sure that your intimate moments will return, so my freind and your lovely wife, well done and this will soon be but a memory. Lorraine  
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