Being Intimate with an Ostomy: Tips and Advice

Living with an ostomy can bring about many changes, including concerns about intimacy and relationships. It's natural to have questions and feel uncertain about how an ostomy might affect your intimate life. The good news is that with the right approach and communication, many people with ostomies lead fulfilling intimate lives. This article provides tips and advice to help you navigate intimacy with confidence and ease.

Understanding Your Feelings

It's important to acknowledge and understand your feelings about intimacy with an ostomy. You might feel self-conscious, anxious, or worried about your partner's reaction. These feelings are normal, and talking about them with a trusted friend, counselor, or ostomy nurse can help.

Communicating with Your Partner

Open and honest communication with your partner is key to a healthy intimate relationship. Here are some tips for discussing your ostomy:

  • Be Honest: Share your feelings and concerns with your partner. Explain what an ostomy is and how it affects your body.
  • Educate Your Partner: Provide information about ostomies to help your partner understand what you're going through.
  • Be Patient: Give your partner time to ask questions and process the information.
  • Discuss Boundaries: Talk about what feels comfortable and what doesn't. Setting boundaries can help both of you feel more at ease.

Practical Tips for Intimacy

Here are some practical tips to help you feel more confident and comfortable during intimate moments:

1. Empty Your Ostomy Bag

Emptying your ostomy bag before intimacy can help you feel more comfortable and reduce any potential concerns about leaks.

2. Use a Smaller or Different Ostomy Bag

Consider using a smaller or more discreet ostomy bag during intimate moments. There are various options available that can help you feel more confident.

3. Wear a Stoma Cap

A stoma cap is a small, discreet covering for your stoma that can be used temporarily during intimate moments. It can help you feel more secure and confident.

4. Choose Comfortable Positions

Experiment with different positions to find what is most comfortable for you. Some positions may put less pressure on your stoma and ostomy bag.

5. Use Supportive Garments

Specialized underwear, wraps, or belts designed for ostomy patients can provide additional support and help you feel more secure during intimacy.

Emotional Connection

Remember that intimacy is not just about physical contact. Emotional connection and affection play a significant role in intimate relationships. Focus on building a strong emotional bond with your partner through communication, trust, and shared experiences.

Seeking Professional Help

If you're struggling with intimacy or have specific concerns, consider seeking help from a professional. An ostomy nurse, counselor, or sex therapist can provide guidance and support tailored to your situation.


Being intimate with an ostomy may require some adjustments, but it doesn't have to hinder your intimate life. By understanding your feelings, communicating openly with your partner, and exploring practical tips, you can enjoy a fulfilling and confident intimate life. Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources and professionals available to help you navigate this aspect of your journey.