Hope you are getting some good answers to help with your studies
I am female and have had my ileostomy since I was 37 and am now 51 years old. At the time I was a solo Mum with a 6 year old boy. Over time I worked out a system that best works for my lifestyle - a bit of trial and error at first but now got it down pat!
1. What is the best time to change your pouch?
Usually after a shower is best and not just after a big meal. Everyone's bowel movements are different so your stoma may be active at different times of the day but most would be more active after eating so just easier to charge it when it's in "sllent" mode. Having said that, doesn't really matter just have lots of tissues handy in case of an accident! Depending on how active you are the pouch can last for 3 - 4 days but on a really hot day or if you are excersing and get sweaty, better to change it about every 2nd day - mine is a one pouch and really easy to change, only takes a couple of minutes. Just peel off, clean the skin and stick a fresh one on
2. How many times do you empty it out and how?
About the same as when you would go to uruinate just empy your bag at the same time into the toilet bowl. Nobody even knows what you are doing. My bag has a velco strip at the end that you just undo, let out the content, wipe clean with toilet paper, fasten up again and you're good to go for a few more hours!
3. Can you control your bowel movements?
No, never! It has a mind of it's own. But having lived with Ulcerative Colitis for many years I never had any control over it then either and that was a lot harder to live with if you were not near a toilet. With a bag you don't have to empty it straight away as it tends to just trickle in a bit at a time over a few hours unless you eat something that upsets your bowel, then it can be a a lot of input all at once - no different than someone without a bag with an upset tummy
4. What are some limitations that you find yourselfs having?
Only limitations that I put on myself mainly. I don't like to go swimming now although I know I could but am scared the bag may fall off.
Can't play any contact sports, have to be careful not to knock your stoma as can cause damage if you do. Maybe grid iron football or something would not be advisable
Certain clothes I no longer like to wear such as tight jeans that press on your stoma. Just need to find clothes that sit above the bag and then all good.
5. Can you have intimate relationships or get pregnant with an ostomy?
Definitely yes. Always dependant on your state of health of course. Just make sure to empty your bag before being intimate and you can continue the same as if you do not have a bag. Mostly the problem is with body image. Having the right partner which I luckily do will eliminate this
It does not stop you getting pregnant but you would need to be monitored duing the pregnancy and possibly if female as your stomach swells I imagine could become more difficult to change or empy the pouch. Maybe someone who has had a baby while wearing a pouch could help with that? Also not sure how you would get on if needed a c section as my c section scar from prior to ostomy runs right by my ostomy scar...
As most perople with an ostomy will tell you it just becomes a way of life for you and after a while you don't even think about it any more. At first you are always thinking about when you need to change your bag or go empy it or who's looking at your bag, but after so many years it's no big deal
Hope that helps