Can women with an ostomy become pregnant?

Many women wonder if they can still have children after they have had their ostomy surgery. There is no simple answer.

A lot depends on the reason for the ostomy surgery in the first place. Some surgery and possible scar tissue can reduce the likely hood of getting pregnant. Make sure you discuss it in detail with your surgeon.

Women with ostomies live normal active lives. They are intimate, make love, are loved and many have children. Some women feel healthier after ostomy surgery as their disease process is gone or under control.

Pregnancy with an ostomy

As the baby grows and your abdomen enlarges, some changes may occur such as:

As the uterus enlarges it may block or partially block the intestines resulting in a blockage or partial blockage as food cannot easily pass through. You may have abdominal cramping and no or little stool output. Resting and drinking fluids only may help. If it continues or the pain increases, seek medical attention.
  • The stoma may need to be resized throughout the pregnancy
  • A new pouching system may be required until after the pregnancy
  • After delivery your stoma will change again and you may need a different pouching system as your abdomen returns to normal
  • If you have a urostomy, you may be more prone to infection

Contact your Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence (NSWOC)/WOC nurse for more information and to discuss your questions.