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December 2, 2022

Sex After an Ostomy Surgery – What You Need to Know

Life Hacks, Sex 2 Comments

One of the biggest concerns you may have before or after receiving an ostomy is regarding your sex life. How will it be impacted?

We’re not going to leave you dangling. You can have sex—lots of it. Little needs to change, no matter how adventurous your bedroom (or kitchen floor) escapades may be. Now that you’ve breathed a sigh of relief let’s nip your concerns in the bud so you can get back into the swing of things.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Sex After Receiving an Ostomy

After Surgery

If you’ve just had a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, it’s important to recognize that you’ve had a major medical procedure. You most certainly must take the necessary precautions. The location of your stoma and scar tissue makes it susceptible to aggravation during sex soon after surgery. You will want to wait for clearance from your physician before taking on this physical activity. The biggest impediment here is that some patients are afraid to broach the subject with their doctor. Don’t be shy. They know the question is on your mind. If they don’t bring it up themselves, then ask them. If you practice anal sex, there may indeed be roadblocks depending on what surgery you had, and thus the matter will most certainly have to be discussed with your physician. One thing to remember is not to insert anything into your stoma. It is void of nerves, so there is no feeling. Inserting anything could risk damage, or worse, perforating your intestine and endangering your life. 

While You’re Waiting

Ostomy & Sex | Sex After An Ostomy Surgery

If your site has not yet healed, you have options. Sex does not start and stop with penetration. You and your partner can make foreplay (oral, accessories, etc.) the main event until your stoma is no longer sensitive. As soon as your sexual appetite and desire have returned, you can indulge in foreplay without concern. Allow us to be blunt – an orgasm will not hurt your ostomy.

Product Solutions for Pelvic Health and Pain During Intercourse

Ostomy and Sex | Solutions for painful sex

Before surgery, you may have experienced pain during intercourse. You are not alone. Approximately 75 percent of women experience pain during sex at some point. While for many, the issue is temporary, it’s unfortunately persistent for a large number. A recent study finds that for one in ten women – sex is painful every time. A medical name for painful sex is dyspareunia. Another is Genito Pelvic Pain Penetration Disorder (GPPPD).

But the words alone encapsulate a wide array of causations. The list includes adenomyosis, cystitis, endometriosis, hemorrhoids IBS, ovarian cysts, pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine prolapse, retroverted uterus, and uterine fibroids. Natural childbirth, cesarean sections, and other surgeries or medical treatments can also cause painful sex.

At Inner Good, we’ve recently launched a series of pelvic health products by OHNUT, Intimate Rose and others that are specifically designed to address vaginal pain (and pain trigger points) during intimacy. These fantastic solutions have been a popular addition to our medical product lineup (US Customers can buy OHNUT here).

Learn More: Ohnut: Solution for Painful Sex

Learn More: Intimate Rose Pelvic Wand Puts the “Oooh” Back in Intimacy

Participate in our Sex Survey: Chronic Illness, their Partners & Sex Study



Most women maintain their prior ability to achieve natural lubrication and orgasm after receiving an ostomy. When lubrication becomes an issue, personal lubricants like KY Jelly and Intimate Rose are popular and safe solutions.

Sex After an Ostomy | tips for men and women

Some men experience impotence immediately after the procedure but are able to achieve and maintain an erection weeks later. In the unlikely event that impotence remains months after, consult with your doctor and inquire about safe prescriptions.

Ostomy & Sex Positions – Is Anything Off-Limits?

Once you’re physically ready to get back in the saddle, there is no reason that you cannot run through the Kama Sutra gauntlet. Yes, you may find that some positions are not as comfortable as they were before, missionary being one of them. But this will be because of your ostomy pouch.

Simple position adjustments will help, but the issue may lie with the product. Wide varieties of pouches of varying sizes can improve the situation. These products can increase intimacy in the bedroom, from small pouches to stoma caps. Choosing a suitable ostomy pouch will make a world of difference. In the end, you will become more accustomed to wearing your ostomy pouch over time for all activities, sex included. Until then, have fun trying new positions with your partner until you find a few (or a dozen) that stick. 

Sexual Hygiene

Odour and hygiene are a concern for many of you, given the position of your stoma in relation to the acts of intimacy. But this concern is decreased by the simple fact that you have a wide variety of products available to maintain freshness if you feel the need. There are internal odour control tablets and deodorant drops for your pouch. And as with any sexual rendezvous, it doesn’t hurt to light a few scented candles or incense to enhance the mood and ease your mind.

Psychological and Emotional Hurdles

We’ll say it again. You can have sex—lots of it. However, the biggest hurdles for many will be psychological and emotional. You may be so concerned about the perceived stigma of a stoma that you will let it get in the way of your sex life. While entirely understandable, there is a clear and definable cure – communication.

An open and honest dialogue between you and your partner is the key. You may feel that your partner is no longer attracted to you. But ask yourself, would you feel the same way about them? Probably not. They may be concerned about causing you physical discomfort, but let them know that you will test the waters (positions) together until you can get back “in the zone.” Seeking advice from other ostomates is also helpful (check this video from the 40-sec mark on)

There are other ways to feel “sexy” again. Ostomy-conscious lingerie and intimate wear have come a long way. Not only fashionable, but they will also subtly hide (and protect) your ostomy pouch until you become more accustomed to it. Women often start by wearing a satin slip or camisole during sex until comfort levels kick in, while men may wear an ostomy belt with a pouch cover.

Lastly, if you are in a new relationship and have yet to inform your companion about your ostomy, now is the time to do it. There should be no surprises before sex. If, after engaging them in a sensitive yet informative conversation on the matter, they cannot seem to move past it, they may not be the person for you. Either way, be patient not only with your partner be patient with yourself too. 

Inner Good Wishes You and Yours a Happy, Healthy, Fulfilling, and FUN sex life!


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2 Replies to “Sex After an Ostomy Surgery – What You Need to Know”

  1. Can you still have anal sex after having an end ileostomy and the large intestine removed completely

    1. Hi Tina,

      This is definitely a question for your doctor or ET Nurse and possibly the surgeon who performed your surgery.


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