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Contrary to popular belief, you can still continue to have intimacy in your life after an ostomy. As soon as you have recovered from the surgery, you may be able to enjoy sexual experiences just the way as you did prior to surgery. With the proper guidance, you will realize that it is actually anxiety and other people's opinion surrounding the surgery, not the procedure itself that complicates things in the bedroom.
Read on to find out the answers to your concerns and how you can handle situations that may be embarrassing for you.
Based on misinformation, it is more likely that you will suffer from emotional problems after the surgery rather physical ones.
Some of the common myths surrounding ostomy include:
- Women with stomas cannot conceive.
- Men will not be able to achieve and maintain an erection.
- It is mandatory for men to ejaculate for sexual gratification.
- The odor from the stoma will be a big turn off for your partner.
The feelings of low self esteem are reasonable at times, but this does not mean that they do not have a solution.
- There have been various instances where it has been proved that women have been successful in having healthy babies with guided healthcare after ostomy.
- It has been reported that men actually have better orgasms after surgery. However, it is important to know that you have to regain your strength after the procedure and do not get discouraged after the first unsuccessful attempt.
- You have to realize that your partner cares about the good in you and not just the physical aspects. Additionally, the design of ostomy pouches provides for maximum comfort and hygiene.
- Men can have dry orgasms which involve no ejaculation. There is no need for you to feel the pressure to ejaculate after surgery.
- The material of the ostomy pouches makes it possible to let air pass without releasing odor. You may also use deodorizers that are inserted inside the pouch.
What to do before getting intimate after surgery
It will take time to get used to your body after the surgical procedure. However, it is natural to feel fluctuations in your libido. Talking to your partner about your fears and explaining your anxieties about getting intimate is the best thing you could do to strengthen your relationship.
The following will help you feel at ease when getting intimate with your partner:
- Make sure you change/empty your pouch.
- Secure the pouch to your abdomen properly with medical paper tape.
- Make sure your ostomy belt is clean if you wear one.
- You may use an ostomy pouch cover for the pouch if its appearance distracts you.
- Many brands of 'passion pouches' are available that are smaller as compared to regular ostomy bags.
- You should also try to focus on your feelings rather than the pouch.
- Women may use lubricants or suppositories to combat vaginal dryness.
What foods to avoid
Certain food items that cause gas, odor, diarrhea and obstruction particularly in case of an ileostomy should be avoided. Using foods such as eggs, garlic, onions, cabbage, cheese, alcohol, popcorn, raisins and seeds is not recommended after an ostomy.
Have you recently undergone a colostomy procedure? Do you have an ostomy to show for it and are you unsure of how to take care of it? Proper ostomy care requires knowledge about your current medical condition, as well as awareness of some basic tips.
Following are some of these tips that you need to observe, in order to ensure ideal care for your ostomy:
- It is important that to prepare the new ostomy pouching system before you remove the old and used one.
- Take care to empty your current pouch when it is one third or half full. It is not advisable to let the pouch overfill.
- It is recommended that you adopt an ostomy pouch changing routine which includes installing a new one in the morning, before you have eaten or drunk anything.
- When you apply a skin barrier, it is best to apply it against your skin for around 30 to 60 seconds. This will ensure better contact with the skin.
Tips For Skin Care
- Make sure that you don't use any soaps, lotions, or any other type of cream on your skin.
- Your routine skin care should not include the use of any powder, isopropyl alcohol, ointments, baby wipes, or steroidal medications.
- Any sign of broken or irritated skin, or a red rash on the skin's surface should be notified to the doctor immediately and this condition should not be neglected.
- If you use an adhesive remover wipe, then make sure that you wipe the skin clean with soap and water, and dry it, before you stick the new skin barrier in place.
- Use cleansing wipes every time you change your ostomy bag. Change your ostomy bag twice weekly. You should not use the same bag for more than seven days.
- If you are engaged in increased activity and are perspiring more, then the pouch wear time will decrease. It is important that you plan accordingly.
- If you plan to travel, it is important that you decide to take extra supplies and make sure to keep all your ostomy products in your carry bag. It is recommended that you cut your skin barriers beforehand, so that you don't have to travel with scissors on the plane.
- Make sure that you have a legitimate travel ID for all the ostomy supplies you carry. A doctor's prescription is also recommended, so that you can easily deal with any posed questions by the authorities, by showing them your doctor's medical statement.
- It is completely acceptable for you to take a bath or shower with your pouch attached.
- If you experience changes in your pouch wear time, then it is best to consult the expert advice of an ostomy nurse specialist.
- It is important to store all your extra ostomy supplies in a cool and dry place.
By simply following all these ostomy care tips, you can enjoy a happy and healthier life.