sex and relationships

Having a fulfilling relationship
after your surgery

When it comes to sex, it is important that you feel comfortable with your partner; talking and trust are key to establishing a fulfilling sexual relationship after your surgery.


Don’t be afraid to open up and to acknowledge how you are feeling. Recognising these feelings and sharing them will help in your recovery.

You will need to allow enough time for healing before trying to regain your full sex life but do not forget about touching, kissing and sharing a bed as these can all help providing intimacy that you and your partner need.

Once you have gone through your initial recovery period and feel ready to start having sex again do not rush yourself, find what you are comfortable with and remember to talk to your partner. You might find it useful to experiment with different positions to find one that you are both comfortable with. Many ostomates find that a side-by-side position works well as it allows the pouch to hang down to the side and not come between them and their partner.


It is advisable to empty or change your pouch before beginning sexual activity. It may even be possible for you to wear a smaller more discreet pouch. There is also specialist underwear available to help make you feel more comfortable and to improve your confidence in how you look.


If you have any further questions about sex and relationships with your ostomy, please give us a call on 0800 220 300 or email [email protected]

Sex and intimacy booklet

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