Women’s Sexual Concerns After Stoma Surgery

Some women who have stoma surgery experience sexual issues after the procedure. Explore some potential female issues and get tips that may help.


Learn about sexual concerns for women after stoma surgery.

There are a few potential sexual issues that a woman may encounter after stoma surgery. If you’ve recently had this procedure, or are about to, it’s important to understand the possible impact on your body and sex life.

Pain during sex

Pain during penetrative intercourse is known as dyspareunia. Pain during sex may be a side effect for women after stoma surgery. It is thought to be caused by anatomical changes following surgery and reduced sexual desire and arousal. This issue is sometimes made worse by stress and reduced lubrication. These problems usually improve over time. However, you can take some steps to help matters immediately:

  • Firstly, talk to your partner about what you feel and keep them informed about your comfort levels 
  • Try to manage your stress with meditation, exercise, or whatever relaxes you
  • If you experience vaginal dryness, try a lubricant from your local supermarket or pharmacy, or online. Some are available by prescription. 

If required, a mild analgesia might help before intercourse, or you may choose not to have penetrative sex until things are much more comfortable. If the latter is the case for you, explain this to your partner and talk about alternative pleasures.

Impact on orgasms

You may be concerned about how your stoma surgery may affect your ability to have an orgasm. The good news is that if you could experience orgasm before your surgery, that ability is rarely affected by the ostomy procedure. 

If you need more help

If you’re experiencing sexual issues and feel that you need additional advice and support, don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care professional.