Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 571–586 | Cite as

Sexuality in People With Ostomies: A Literature Review

  • Mauricio Medina-RicoEmail author
  • Ana M. Zárate-Velasco
  • Andrés Quiñonez
  • Hugo López-Ramos
Original Paper


Ostomies have shown to compromise different components of an individual’s quality of life, particularly their sexuality. Although some elements that can affect sexuality have been described in this population like body image or lifestyle changes, being a necessity to understand these difficulties, as well as to know the strategies the same patients have used to improve their sexual life. A review of the literature was performed using the following databases: Medline, Central, Embase, Scopus, Lilacs and Psycinfo. The include studies required a qualitative or mixed method approach with the purpose of investigating the sexual issues of people with ostomies along with their strategies to improve their sexual life. A total of 1039 articles were reviewed by title and abstract. Among these, 17 references were selected for full-text review. Based on these, an ostomy seems to compromise three individual aspects: physical, emotional and social. The physical aspect is associated with the mechanical difficulties caused by the ostomy, such as the act of coitus. The emotional aspect is related to self-esteem alterations due to changes in an individual’s physical appearance. Lastly, the social aspect is related to the perception of their partner, their family and other peers. The sexuality of people with ostomies should be approached before and after the surgery. Partners of the individuals should be involved throughout the explanation of the process in order to help the patient recover faster and, therefore, avoid hampering their sexual lives.


Sexuality Sex education Ostomy Colombia 


Compliance with Ethical Standard

Conflict of interest

All authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics DepartmentPontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotáColombia
  2. 2.Pontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotáColombia
  3. 3.Urology DepartmentPontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotáColombia

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