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Do Men Become Impotent After A Colostomy Or Ileostomy?

Many People Think An Ostomy Means A Man Can No Longer Have Sex


Updated July 09, 2014

Question: Do Men Become Impotent After A Colostomy Or Ileostomy?

Ostomy surgery, which for digestive disease includes colostomy and ileostomy, does not always cause impotence. The genitals are not directly affected by these procedures. However, impotence is a risk in this type of surgery, particularly in radical surgery that is done for cancer. Impotence is more common with colostomy surgery than ileostomy surgery.


Some men may experience temporary impotence after ostomy surgery. In some cases, the reasons for this may be unclear at first, and getting a proper diagnosis can help. Impotence can be caused for a variety of reasons including poor body image and the overall recovery from surgery, which can take some time.

There are several treatments available for permanent and temporary impotence, including medication, penile implants, and counseling. The treatment used will depend upon the type of impotence a man has.


Hollister. "Love and Sex." Hollister Global. 2013. 27 Sep 2013.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. "Facts and Fallacies About Digestive Disease." National Institutes of Health. Apr 2000. 27 Sep 2013.

Wittenauer J. "Caring for the Ostomy Patient." National Center of Continuing Education. 2007. 27 Sep 2013. [PDF]


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