Sex & Relationships With A Stoma Bag – Michelle Williams Shares Her Experiences

Sex And Relationships With A Stoma Bag – Michelle Williams Shares Her Experiences

My husband’s initial reaction to my stoma bag

I was, perhaps, lucky that I didn’t get my stoma until I had been married to my husband for 3 years, so I haven’t personally had to experience dating with a stoma bag.

I know that when I had my first op, my husband specifically asked a nurse to show him the bag before I came around, so that if he was shocked I wouldn’t see his reaction. As it happened, he said he wasn’t shocked and the stoma was actually a lot smaller and flatter than he had expected.

Dating with a stoma - just another body image hurdle to get over

However, a lot of my younger female stoma friends seem to have no problem with dating new guys / starting relationships. I think that’s because it’s just another body image hurdle we women have to get over. The beauty of this one is that it’s easily hidden and never makes you look fat - unless it’s full of gas after a bowl of sprouts!

Sexy stoma underwear is not all crotchless knickers!

I remember, when I first got my stoma, the only ‘sexy’ stoma underwear available was crotchless knickers. Now, I’m no prude but I wouldn’t have worn those before I had a poop bag attached to my stomach, so the thought of wearing them now would make me cringe! Thankfully, over the last 5 years, stoma underwear has gone a lot more mainstream and also caters for the younger patients too.

Tips for intimate moments with a stoma bag

Depending on whether your GP will prescribe them (mine didn’t feel it was a medical necessity!), there are stoma caps available that can be used for “sexual relations”, but literally only for a couple of hours because, as the name suggests, it’s just a cap, not a full bag.

The way I get around it, is to empty my stoma bag and then just attach the lower half of the bag, with medical tape, to my abdomen. Depending on the size of your bag, you might want to fold it up in half and then tape it. That way, you’re not going to be paranoid that your rustling will ruin the mood. Then I wear a pretty babydoll or camisole over the top, with normal fancy knickers.

Of course - before all of this, you have to tell the person you are going to be intimate with that you even have a stoma. But that is a whole blog topic of its own…

"Dating with a stoma is just another body image hurdle to get over" - Michelle

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by Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

About the author

My name is Michelle; I live in Kent with my husband and son. I have a permanent ileostomy as a result of Ulcerative Colitis. You can follow me on twitter.

Recent Comments

  • hilary harris

    I have just started dating i told my date i had a colostomy as i had a leak while i was out with him.we are ready to go to the next level but so nervous as what will he think as a dont feel sexy and will it put him off so scared.what shall i do any ideas?

  • Michelle Williams

    Hi Hilary, well done on taking the plunge and telling him on a date. Apologies that I am only replying now but we had a problem with comments not showing up. So I am hoping that you've managed to take it to the next level. If not I think that he will have probably googled colostomy and know what to expect from that angle and he is obviously very into you as he has clearly communicated that he wants to get physical. Go Lingerie shopping as you would have before your colostomy and buy something that makes you feel amazing. It's also worth explaining to him that you are feeling a bit nervous as, I suppose effectively, your first time all over again. I'd love to hear how it goes, if you don't mind sharing with us.

  • Tracy Dunn

    I have a permanent ileostomy. I would like to wear a Stoma cap for intimate moments. Trouble is I have to use a convex bag. Stoma caps don't come in convex. What can I do ?

  • Daisy J

    I have my stoma (Total Colostomy) for 26 years now. I have gone through the dating, marriage, divorce, and pregnancy.

    Since I had Crohns Colitis for 13 years of my life, I never really learned to eat properly and always on a strict diet. Once I had the surgery, I found it to be a miracle in disguise. One thing I learned is that the ONLY person that can start making you feel uncomfortable about having a bag during intimacy is YOU. I have been lucky that when I came across being intimate, this was NOT an issue. Yes, my bag has come off and leaked during sex, but the few times it happened, my husband would just brush it off, wait to get cleaned up and pick up from where we started. My ex husband was not so cordial, so this is why he is my ex. lol

    Stoma caps are only good for a VERY short period of time and you cannot eat anything if you do not want it to fill out quickly.

    Pool/beach - luckily it is cold water, not hot. Plan it. Change your bag the night before, apply extra adhesive than usual. take an extra with you. It should last you most of the day (the bathing suit is snug so it keeps it in place). Eat minimally and empty often. Once you know you are NOT getting wet again, change your bag and put on dry clothes. You will be FINE. Humidity is evil for the bag, it comes off easily, so if vacationing, be prepared with products and a back up plan to get some if needed right away. Visiting in Florida and Puerto Rico was a challenge for me.

    Feeling clogged, drink a hot liquid.. (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, broth). This helps push all through without surgery.

    Due to the pregnancy, I developed a stomal hernia (so be careful). I was not educated on how to carry the weight of my son with a stoma. I was suppose to wear something to relieve the weight on the stoma, like a girdle or back brace or something. Anyway, so those are my struggles right now....weight and hernia. I cannot remove the hernia until I get the weight off. :(

    Oh, I also now have congestive heart failure. So the stoma requires fluids and the CHF says not too much fluids. Balancing both has made things difficult. I find myself feeling overwhelmed and depressive. Any ideas?

  • Cathy cooney

    I have been a widow for three years now and in that time I’ve got a colostomy bag permanent. Last year I met someone I fancied he seemed to like me too. But I was so shy cause of my colostomy so did not pursue the relationship. He has just appeared in my life again but I feel even worse cos I now have a parastomal hernia. So I look about nine months pregnant, I try to hide my bump but I’m so self conscious about it. He seems interested in me again but I’m too embarrassed to follow anything up.

  • Carol

    I had my permanent ileostomy at age 39.
    Shortly after the surgery, I went to the lingerie department of a nice department store. I figured that there might be a “mature” woman working there who wouldn’t flinch when I told her about my ileostomy and poop bag.
    A 65-70 year old woman was a clerk there that day!
    I asked her if she could recommend anything for “intimate moments” that would “strap down” the bag, hide it, and immobilize it but still leave all my “important parts” accessible.
    She didn’t skip a beat. She showed me waist nippers, very much like this:

    They come in purely elastic too—I step into those and wiggle wiggle.

    Left my ex after 25 years, when I was 50. And I began dating.
    50 years old with an ileostomy...
    Not a problem. The simple waist nippers were soon replaced by full-blown corsets. I’ve never felt sexier.

    Confidence, ladies!

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