A sitz bath involves sitting in specially prepared bathwater up to the hips. This type of bath is used to promote wound healing after surgery on the lower half of the body, and it is also beneficial in relief from pain and discomfort due to infections or medical conditions. If the patient is unable to sit in the bathtub, a sitz bath can be taken using a large basin or an assistive device that fits onto the toilet. Vinegar, baking soda, and salt could sometimes be added to the water used for a sitz bath to help patients with certain conditions, though plain water is often used as well. The temperature of a sitz bath can be either warm or cool, and some patients might choose to alternate between warm and cool water.
The uses, methods, and precautions associated with sitz baths are discussed below.
When A Sitz Bath Is Used
Sitz baths are particularly effective in soothing discomfort from conditions that affect the genital area. For example, the baths are often used for individuals coping with hemorrhoids, yeast infections, anal fissures, and genital herpes. Patients may use sitz baths to ease chronic constipation and prostatitis, and pediatricians typically recommend these baths for children with perineal chafing or rashes. Sitz baths might help reduce irritation associated with bladder infections, and doctors may suggest these for patients who have had an episiotomy or rectal surgery. Sitz baths gently clean the affected region, and they can be especially useful in cleaning areas that are too painful to touch. The baths promote healing by increasing blood flow to the region as well.
Learn about how to take a sitz bath next.