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How will my stoma affect my relationship?

11th February 2019

For many people across the globe, February represents a month of love, compassion, flowers and maybe even a little bit of chocolate. With 14th February just around the corner, we decided that the perfect time to discuss relationships and dating for ostomates would be now.

One of the biggest worries on the mind of many ostomates is about how other people will react to their bag, and how that might affect their intimate relationships. Don’t worry though – feeling a little bit anxious is completely normal, and you aren’t alone. If anything, you have got a lot to be excited about and plenty to look forward to. Some ostomates find that their stoma has allowed them to carry on doing activities that they enjoy, some of which could not have been possible during their illness.

Once your surgery is out of the way and you’re on the road to recovery, it’s entirely your decision who you tell about your stoma and when it’s right for you to do so. If you were already involved in a serious relationship before your surgery then it will not come as a surprise to your partner. However, if you meet a new partner, it can be difficult to know how to tell them about your bag. Our advice is that, if you do think the relationship is going to turn intimate soon, try and tell your partner as soon as possible so that there are no surprises for either of you.

As with every relationship, it’s important to remember that communication and trust are vital. If you feel the need to spend some time building up your confidence before you discuss or reveal your stoma to a partner, that’s completely fine. You can take as long as you need.

If you’re considering the best way to open up about your stoma to a new partner, it’s definitely worthwhile to plan what you want to say beforehand. When you’re happy that you know what you’d like to say and how you’re going to do it, you will know when the time feels right. Don’t forget that your stoma bag is a life-saving piece of equipment that you don’t need to be ashamed of. If you’re happy in yourself, others too will be comfortable and happy for you.

There’s no doubt that talking about your stoma for the first time to somebody new is never going to be easy, but the majority of people will be fully understanding and supportive of you. Whilst on the subject, if anybody appears to be uninterested after talking about your stoma, it’s likely that the relationship was never going to work in the first place.

The bottom line is to make sure that you only do things when you feel ready to do so. Remember that throughout your surgery, there will always be a specialist nurse on hand to answer any questions that you may have – no matter how awkward they may be!

Don’t forget that most ostomates lead happy lives with romance and loving relationships too. If anything is worrying you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and speak to a professional Goldcare nurse on 0800 592 786.

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