What is a Sitz Bath?
A sitz bath is a type of therapy done by sitting in warm, shallow water. It often comes with a plastic bag that has a long tubing on the end. This bag can be filled with warm water and used to safely fill the bath via the tubing. The basin is slightly larger in size than a standard toilet bowl so it can be easily and securely placed underneath the toilet seat to allow you to remain seated while taking a sitz bath.
How is it used?
A sitz bath can be done in 2 ways: in a bathtub or using a sitz bath bowl.
To take a sitz bath in a tub:
- Make sure your bathtub is clean. Fill a clean bathtub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water. In some cases, your healthcare provider may tell you to use cold water instead.
- Add salt or medicine to the water if advised by your healthcare provider.
- Gently lower yourself down into the bathtub and sit on the bottom of the tub. Don’t get into the bath unless the water temperature is comfortable.
If you have a wound, the water may cause pain at first. But the pain should ease. Make sure the area that needs treating is under the water. You can bend your knees up to help expose the area that needs contact with the water.
Using a sitz bath bowl:
- Place the basin underneath the toilet seat making sure it is securely attached.The sitz bath should be half-filled with warm water at a comfortable temperature.
- Add salt or medicine to the water if advised by your healthcare provider. Or follow the package instructions about how to fill the bowl.
- The user can add extra water without having to get up as the water cools so as to be more comfortable. The extra water comes from the tube fed by the hot water bag. The bag is placed high up and adding water creates a whirlpool effect.
- A vent allows excess water to overflow into the toilet below. If there is no hole, be careful not to fill the bowl too full.
- Sit in the basin, making sure your private area is covered. Soak up to three times a day for 10 to 20 minutes. Depending on your condition, a doctor may suggest more. Afterward, gently pat the area dry using a clean soft towel.Don't rub the area.
Common reasons why you might want to consider using a sitz bath include:
- recently having surgery on the vulva or vagina
- recently having given birth
- recently having hemorrhoids surgically removed.
- having discomfort from hemorrhoids
- having discomfort with bowel movements.
- helping ease period cramps
- cleaning the anal and genital areas if you can’t take a bath or shower
what benefits does it have?
- The main use of a sitz bath for women is to promote comfort by cleansing the perineum, which is the space between the rectum and the vulva or scrotum.
- It also helps reduce healing after childbirth by increasing blood flow to the perineal area.
- It can also help soothe hemorrhoids, which occur in some pregnant women and can also develop after giving birth, due to pushing during labor.
- A sitz bath can also provide relief from minor pain or itching and irritation.