Tips from GWGs

We asked our community for their tips on how they navigate relationships with IBD and/or Ostomy.

Many of our community members have found open communication with friends and loved ones is key!

  • “Having open conversations with my family. I honestly didn’t know what Crohn’s was but together we researched and they supported me the whole way, even prior to being diagnosed.”
  • “I was in contact with my best friends constantly while I was in the hospital being diagnosed so as soon as I knew what was wrong with me, they were one of the first to know. They did their own research as I researched myself. I’m really grateful to have two best friends like that.”

When it comes to dating with an ostomy and IBD, there can be many questions and concerns about when and how to disclose that one has an ostomy and/or IBD. Our community members shared the following about their experiences:

  • “ I have an ostomy so I try to wait til at least the 3rd date since I want them to know me first.”
  • “Mine have usually seen it first hand after a couple of dates where we eat. I did usually try to avoid food before a date for the first few just to avoid the topic until I figured out if it would be worth it.”
  • “Never told them – unless it was necessary. And when I mentioned it, I did after a few dates. It’s something that can scare people away. They need time to process and to decide if they want to get along with it or not. So it’s a tricky choice for everyone I guess.”
  • “I tell people right away. With new romantic partners I tell them before the first date. IBD is such a huge part of my life and informs how I live. So, it feels like it is something necessary to bring up early.”


Watch this powerful chat from Dr. Neilanjan Nandi, MD, FACP on “Ostomy Sexuality and Intimacy,” as he explains to GWGs “how to bring the sexy back” in our intimate relationships:

View Video


For information about IBD and sex check out our IBD Academy sections on sex.


Dating and Marriage



We can help you navigate all of your life stages.

footer color trail