I have had a remarkable amount of questions regarding my sex life with an ileostomy bag, and surprisingly, many requests to write about it. Many people seem to be confused as to how it works, if sex is still an option, and if the ileostomy bag changes anything. Of course, no relationship is the same, and everyone reacts differently. Some people may not feel comfortable enough to have sex, whilst for some people it isn’t an issue…
And of course, I am one of those people. There is no way I have let this bag effect my sex life. In fact, one of the first questions I asked my stoma nurse was “can I still have sex?” of course, she replied “yes” so naturally, my next question was “how soon?”
I was told I was able to have sex once I felt comfortable enough, once I felt my pain had subsided enough and when I felt confident to do so. Obviously, you’re not going to want to do it straight after your surgery, but I mean, I only waited two weeks – I’d been in hospital for so long I felt like a virgin again!
So.. How does it work you ask?
Obviously, sex works how it would within any couple… the only difference being that my partner has to be a little wary of my stomach. Whilst in recovery, I feel it’s best to just keep it simple, basic positions – you don’t want any injuries when you’ve only just escaped from the hospital! This means no porn star moves just yet!
You can get small covers for your stoma, and there are smaller bags available if you’re feeling a self-concious, but in such early stages, dealing with skin irritation from my ileostomy bag, I just keep a top as a precaution. Of course, I drain the bag before hand, and tuck it up into the second velcro strap so that there is no chance of it catching or being pulled. But I will definitely be trying out the smaller covers at one point or another!
Of course, mine and my partners first time whilst I have my bag was very daunting, I was constantly being asked “are you okay? you’re not in pain are you?” I’m almost certain he was convinced he was going to kill me!
Luckily, me and my partner have always had a great sex life. And for us, nothing has changed. A bags just a bag I’m afraid. I’m still me. I’m still his! I do understand though that it may be a little more terrifying if you’re just starting out in a relationship, and every things new. But don’t let it stop you from feeling sexy! Who looks at a stomach during sex anyway?!