Embarking on the journey of love and intimacy is a beautiful aspect of the human experience. However, for individuals who have undergone stoma surgery, this journey may come with its own set of unique considerations. In this blog, we’ll explore the intricacies of sex and love when living with a stoma, aiming to provide support, insights, and guidance for those navigating this aspect of life.
Living with a stoma involves a journey of self-acceptance. It’s crucial to recognise and appreciate the resilience and strength it takes to adapt to the changes in your body. Embracing self-love is the first step towards building confidence, both within yourself and in your intimate relationships.
Open Communication with Your Partner:
Communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, and this holds true when it comes to discussing your stoma with your partner. Open and honest conversations about your feelings, fears, and desires create a foundation of trust and understanding. Share your experiences, educate your partner about your stoma, and encourage them to ask questions.
Understanding the changes your body has undergone is a powerful tool in fostering self-assurance. Learn about your stoma, its function, and the physical aspects of intimacy post-surgery. Knowledge can alleviate anxiety and empower you to communicate effectively with your partner.
Intimacy is a personal journey, and there’s no rush. Take the time you need to feel comfortable and secure. Experiment with different positions and find what works best for you. Being patient with yourself and your partner is essential in building a fulfilling and supportive intimate relationship.
Engage in activities that bring joy, relaxation, and connection. Shared experiences, such as massages or simply spending quality time together, can deepen emotional bonds and enhance the overall intimacy in your relationship.
Seek Professional Guidance:
If you’re facing challenges in your intimate life, consider seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, such as a stoma nurse or a therapist specialising in sexual health. They can offer personalised advice, addressing any specific concerns you may have.
Worries and concerns you may feel:
Q: What if my stoma bag becomes unstuck during sex?
A: If properly sealed, there is no reason why your stoma bag would become unstuck.
Q: Will the stoma bag chafe my partners skin?
A: It shouldn’t do as the covers on most stoma bags are very soft. But if it worries you, look at material/cloth stoma covers for your stoma bag, or a cummerbund which will cover the pouch as well. Or perhaps look at changing your position during sex, such as side to side position.
Q: Will my partner smell any odour from my stoma bag?
A: Most stoma bags are made from materials that will keep in the odours so this shouldn’t be a problem. If you are concerned, there are nice deodorising sprays which you can spray into the pouch.
Q: What if my stoma makes a noise?
A: Try to relax and enjoy the intimate time with your partner. Try to have a sense of humour, as there maybe occasional unwanted noises from all of us from time to time!
Q: Can we have sex using my stoma?
A: The answer to this is a definite no. The stoma cannot be used for intercourse or penetration as this could cause major damage to the stoma and you may need further surgery as a result.
Living with a stoma does not diminish the capacity for love and intimacy; it merely reshapes the journey. By embracing self-acceptance, fostering open communication, and seeking knowledge, individuals with a stoma can navigate the path of sex and love with confidence and fulfilment.