Ask the Colorectal Surgeon

Dr. Beck is board certified in general and colon and rectal surgery and is a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt.. Dr. Beck conducts research into colorectal diseases, has authored and edited nine medical textbooks, and written over 350 scientific publications. He was the President of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) from 2010-2011. Dr. Beck is a nationally recognized expert in inflammatory bowel disease, anal, rectal and colon cancer, stomas, adhesions, bowel preparation, sphincter saving surgery for cancer, laparoscopic surgery, and postoperative pain management.

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Intercourse After Surgery

I had to have ileostomy surgery and then a few months later a second operation for adhesions. It’s been about six weeks since the adhesion surgery and I am still sore, but I would like to know when I can have sex with my husband again. M.T.

Dear M.T.,

You can resume sexual relations as soon as you feel physically and emotionally comfortable. Communication with your partner is helpful. Certain positions may put more stress on your abdominal incision and alterations may lead to greater enjoyment.

Start slowly and communicate. Sexual activity is important and your physician should be able to participate in this discussion. Sometimes there are time constraints and you may need to ask your physician to schedule some time for this discussion. Your physician’s nurse can also be a valuable resource.

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