Do what feels right for you

Dating foods after opening a patients

You may need to wait for

Ask your ostomy nurse about companies that sell these products. You might find that some sexual positions put pressure on your ostomy and are uncomfortable. Empty and clean your ostomy pouch. When you look in the mirror, you notice the bag under your clothes. Check the seal to make sure it's tight.

You might think every gurgle and noise coming from your stoma is loud and heard by everyone in the room. You may need to wait for your surgical incision to heal before lifting weights, to reduce your risk of complications.

Your partner can help make you feel more comfortable and reassure you that you are just as attractive with an ostomy. And depending on what type of ostomy surgery you have, you may experience some temporary sexual side effects, such as erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness.

Take steps before intimacy to feel more confident. Look into ostomy swimsuits and trunks, which can be found through specialty retailers.

Don't let worrying get the best of you. Most people won't notice your ostomy unless you tell them about it.

Discuss this with your partner. If your line of work involves manual labor or lots of lifting, your doctor may recommend ways to protect your stoma on the job. If you're worried about the odor when emptying your ostomy bag, ask your ostomy nurse or visit your medical supply store for pouch deodorants or air sprays to minimize odor.

You might think every gurgle

If you don't have a desk or locker at work to store extra ostomy supplies, for instance, you might need to reveal some details of your ostomy to someone at work so that such arrangements can be made. Returning to work is a good way to transition back to a normal routine, and working again can make you feel good about yourself. Work with your ostomy nurse to find the ostomy pouching system that works best for you. If you're nervous about caring for your ostomy at work, talk to your doctor or an ostomy nurse. While it can be embarrassing, don't let a fear of what could go wrong keep you from going about your day.

Suggest starting with touching and kissing. But don't let your ostomy keep you from wearing tightfitting clothes or even your bathing suit. Acquaintances may be curious about why you've been away from work or know that you were in the hospital and ask about your illness. You can ask questions that you might be embarrassed to ask your doctor or nurse. Once you're fully healed, your doctor or an ostomy nurse might recommend a device to support your abdomen when lifting weights.

Do what feels right for you. You can wear whatever you want if you have an ostomy No clothing is off-limits if you have an ostomy. It may make sense to tell the people closest to you. But sexual intimacy can continue after you have an ostomy. Consider carrying a statement from your doctor about your ostomy.

Some people feel more comfortable getting it out in the open right away, while others want to get to know and trust a potential partner first. If you'll be traveling by airplane, bring extra ostomy supplies and pack them in both your carry-on and checked bags.