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How will my stoma affect my relationship?

February is known to people all around the world as the month of love, romance and flowers. With Valentine’s Day celebrations fast approaching, we thought that now would be an ideal time to discuss relationships and dating for ostomates.

For many people with a stoma, one of the biggest worries is about how others will react and how it could affect their intimate relationships. If you are feeling a little bit anxious after your surgery then try not to worry – this is completely natural. In fact, you have a lot to be excited about. For some ostomates, having a stoma enables them to get back to doing the activities they love, many of which might not have been possible during their illness.

Following on from surgery it is your decision who they tell about their stoma, and when they feel ready to do so. If you were already in a committed relationship before your stoma surgery, it will not come as a surprise to them at all as they will have shared the surgery with you. However, for many ostomates, it can be a scary thought to have to tell a new partner. If you think that a relationship is going to turn intimate quite soon, then it’s a good idea to let your partner know.

It’s a well-known fact that, in any relationship, communication and trust are always key. In this case, the same principle applies. Some ostomates feel the need to spend some time building up their confidence before they feel comfortable even showing their stoma to anyone else.

As we’ve already mentioned, communication is vital. If your partner is unaware of your stoma, it’s well worth planning a short explanation for yourself. Once you’re happy with this, you will know when the time is right to speak to your partner. Remember, your stoma bag is a life-saving piece of equipment that you need not be ashamed of. Once you have accepted it yourself, it will be much easier for others to be comfortable with it too.

Of course, it’s never going to be an easy thing to talk about, but the majority of people will be fully understanding and supportive. If a person appears to become uninterested after a conversation about your stoma, the chances are that the relationship would never have worked anyway.

In conclusion, the most important points are to make sure that you only do things when you feel comfortable to do so. Remember that throughout your surgery there will always be a specialist nurse on hand to answer any questions that you may have – no matter how awkward they may be! In addition to this, our consultants are here to offer advice and discuss your requirements with you too.

Don’t forget that most ostomates lead happy lives with romance and loving relationships too. However, if you are worried about anything regarding your surgery or stoma, you can always get in touch with one of our nurses by calling 01604 586 529. It’s also worth taking a look at our FAQs which also contain some useful advice.

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