Tips to Help with Intimacy

Other ways to be intimate 

If intercourse is not on the agenda at this time, try alternatives. Hugging, cuddling, kissing, caressing, massage - these stimulants provide ways of expressing your love for your partner without actually having sexual intercourse.

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Ensure you are well-rested, eat well and exercise regularly. A healthy and active lifestyle contributes to a positive frame of mind as well as a healthier body.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Both of these substances can affect your sexual performance and, in some cases, aggravate your symptoms.

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Try a lubricant (also referred to as 'lube') to enhance sexual experience and reduce the possibility of anal or vaginal tearing. This is particularly important if you have fistulas.

Lubricants come in different formulations that include water-based, oil-based and silicone-based. Be careful as oil-based gels may cause an allergic reaction in some people and make latex-based condoms ineffective.

Read the labels carefully and be sure to try a test spot before you use one.

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Ostomy bag

If you have an ostomy, empty the bag before intercourse. This minimizes the possibility of leakage, giving you peace of mind and leaving you free to be in the moment.

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Planning ahead

Although it may not be spontaneous, try to plan your intimate moments for a time of day when you know you are feeling the best. For example, if the evening is your most energetic and most symptom-free time of day, schedule time with your partner then.

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Communication is key

Experiment with different sexual positions. Some positions will be more comfortable and therefore more pleasurable than others. Communicate honestly about what works for you (and your partner) and what does not.

We encourage you to communicate! With your partner, your doctor, your health care team, your friends, your family, your support network – talk to them authentically and honestly about what is on your mind. Tackle issues with compassion and empathy. 

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