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Van Horn Cheryl BSMT CETN; Barrett, Patricia RN, BSN, CETN
Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: May 1997
Ostomy Care: PDF Only


The pregnancy, labor, and delivery experiences of women with ostomies are described.


Patient survey.

Settings and subjects

Distribution of surveys to women with these experiences: patients of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, referrals by networking of ET nurses, and distribution of surveys at a national conference of the United Ostomy Association and through local ostomy associations.


A 12-point questionnaire was adapted for each type of diversion: ileostomy, urostomy, continent ileostomy, colostomy, and pelvic reservoir.


The survey was distributed to attendees at a national United Ostomy Association conference and local United Ostomy Association meetings. Surveys were distributed to other ET nurses in the mideastern United States region and to qualified patients at Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Main outcome measure

The subjective experiences of pregnancy, labor, and delivery of women with ostomies are described.


Seventy-five questionnaires were distributed and 54 women responded. Eight women (15%) had fertility problems. Stoma-related problems during the second or third trimester were reported by 68.5%. Most problems were corrected without medical intervention.


The presence of an ostomy should not be a deterrent to successful pregnancy and delivery.

Reprint requests: Cheryl Van Horn, BSMT, CETN, and Patricia Barrett, RN, BSN, CETN, Section of Enterostomal Therapy Nursing, Cleveland Clinic Foundation KK54, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44195.

Copyright © 1997 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society

The impact of ostomies on the reproductive experiences of 54 women is reviewed.