I was Newlywed When I Got My Ostomy

Intimacy seems to be that taboo subject that no one wants to talk about. Sure, there are a lot of

questions out there, but most people may not want to ask. Intimacy with an ostomy? Yes, it’s possible,

and yes, it’s just like intimacy without an ostomy.


I was newly married when I had ostomy surgery, but was in a unique situation. Two weeks

before my husband was to deploy for nine months, I learned I would need surgery due to a

precancerous colon. I had surgery a month later, and thankfully he was able to come home while I was

recovering in the hospital, but promptly had to return overseas. I was 24 at the time and stayed with my

parents until his deployment ended.


There was a lot of learning during the months that my husband was gone. Learning to change

my bag, care for my stoma, and regaining my strength were my biggest to-dos. But of course, like

everyone else, I wondered what intimacy would be like with my ostomy attached to my belly. I had all

the normal thoughts, fears, and concerns. What if my bag falls off? What if I leak during an intimate

moment? How do I handle my ostomy bag filling up or what if it balloons with gas during this special

time? All of these thoughts buzzed through my mind, but the only way to really find out was to

experience it.


I feel so lucky to have an understanding and supportive husband. It is so important to find a

partner who is both willing to learn and understand, and if they aren’t willing to, well…they aren’t worth

being with you.



Intimacy with an ostomy wasn’t just a learning curve for me, but also my husband. The beautiful

thing is that we learned together, which ultimately has even more so deepened our bond. Through my

experiences, a few things that I have learned that may help you feel a little more confident during

intimacy –

  1. Empty your bag before any intimate moments, and if sparks fly and things just happen, it’s okay to excuse yourself for a minute!
  2. Worried about your bag getting in the way? Try a wrap or belt to help secure it! Stealth Belts make the perfect accessory for men and women. They even come in lace to spice things up!
  3. Talk with your partner – let them know how you feel and trust one another.
  4. If a leak happens – it happens! At the end of the day its not a big deal in the grand scheme of

things, and if your partner is truly worthy of you they will understand.


Intimacy is meant to be fun, not something that we should be worried about or fear. I think for most

of us, our ostomies have essentially given us our lives back to live freely and do the things we enjoy

– so enjoy the moment.


By Meghan Brown