Recommended background music for this post.
Not that I can read minds, but I know a lot of people are curious about how people with ostomies have sex. Well, short answer is: the same way you have sex without an ostomy. It’s not something that gets in the way, ostomates have sex (if they want).
Not that I want to divulge about my first time, it was before I had an ostomy, but I did have a nasty scar. I was worried about that and maybe was in my head too much, but quickly managed to get past that. Without going into details it didn’t stop us. I think I may have spent more time in my life keeping people at arm’s length because of my negative self body image. Thanks Crohn’s.
Fast forward to me with an ostomy because that’s what you’re here for. I get it, so prepare yourself for anatomy lesson. I’ve mentioned it before briefly, but I’ll try to expand on what I have previously said. For me, there is no difference. I still have my colon and rectum. Those who have had their entire colon and rectum removed sometimes have an adjustment when it comes to sex. Stephanie from The Stolen Colon did a great post explaining what it’s like. Anatomically speaking, the vagina is right next to the rectum, if you remove the rectum the vagina might shift. I can’t speak from experience on what that’s like, so please read Stephanie’s post.
Recovering from surgery is not easy and it’s not quick. Don’t expect to be back in the swing of things for at least 4-6 weeks. It varies from person to person. Just imagine if you are recovering from surgery with a major incision, you’re probably not going to want someone to touch you.
When it comes to sex with an ostomy, for me, I wear a wrap. I actually wear the wrap all the time, it keeps the bag from swinging around and bothering me. It’s comfy and that way I don’t have to worry about it. I have also gone without wearing a wrap and had no issue. It’s a personal preference. My boyfriend doesn’t care either way, he just wants me to be comfortable.
I do strongly suggest that you empty your bag before you have sex. It just makes sense. Anyway, you would do the same thing before any other kind of physical activity. It’s just habit for me to empty it when it fills up anyway, I don’t even think about it.
My boyfriend and I didn’t talk about it beforehand, we sort of just dove right in. However, we were friends for awhile, so he knew I had a colostomy and had seen pictures. He told me later that he did google it to see if there was anything he needed to know (adorable). I was going to ask him if he had any questions, but being my awkward self, I didn’t want to ruin the moment.
I think the main concern from our partners is our comfort and if there is anything they need to know. Sometimes we have to remind them that we aren’t frail china dolls and that we are functioning human beings with a natural sex drive. The best thing you can do is talk to your partner about your concerns and theirs as well. You’ll both be able to enjoy yourself.
Honestly, you’ve handled some awful situations already, sex is the fun stuff. Get out of your head and enjoy yourself. Live your life.
If you are facing a decision about surgery and getting an ostomy and are worried about sex and you want to talk to me about my experiences shoot me an email.
Don’t forget to practice safe sex. Same rules still apply.