A sitz bath is a shallow, warm water bath used after surgery. It can also be used to relieve discomfort related to an injury or disorder of the pelvic area, perineum (the short stretch between your anus and genitals), vulva (external female genitalia), or rectum.
Sphincter muscles surround most body openings; damage to these muscles can cause leakage of urine or feces with activity.
Other issues that can cause discomfort through the perineal region are hemorrhoids, anal fissures, itching around the vaginal opening caused by yeast infections or herpes sores, or irritation from diapers worn by incontinent adults.
Sitting in a warm water bath for 15-20 minutes several times each day helps soothe these problems.
There are several ways to use a sitz bath. Some people have one that they fill with warm water and use just like a tub.
Others prefer portable versions that can be placed on top of the toilet seat, in the shower, or above another body of water. Plastic versions are also available for travel.
If you want to make your own sitz bath at home, get a clean bucket or container large enough to accommodate the area being treated comfortably. Mix one gallon of very warm water with 1/2 cup of Epsom salts (which contain magnesium sulfate), then add three drops each of peppermint oil and tea tree oil (which help prevent infection) and five drops of lavender oil (which is anti-inflammatory).
The temperature of the water should be comfortable to the touch. Soak for 15-20 minutes, using a towel to pat the area dry when you’re finished.
There are several benefits of using a sitz tub:
- They can help relieve discomfort in the pelvic area, perineum, vulva or rectum.
- Sitting in a warm water bath for 15-20 minutes several times each day helps soothe these problems.
- There are several ways to use a sitz tub, including portable versions that can be placed on top of the toilet seat or in the shower.
- You can make your sitz bath at home by mixing warm with Epsom salts, peppermint oil and tea tree oil.
- Soaking in a sitz tub for 15-20 minutes, several times each day, can help to alleviate problems in the pelvic area, perineum, vulva, or rectum.
- Using a sitz tub can also help reduce pain and promote healing.
Sitz baths are easy to use and benefit those with sensitive skin.
A sitz bath is a type of bath that some people use to relieve pain from hemorrhoids. It can be done at home with an over-the-toilet seat, which you fill up halfway or three-quarters full and then soak for about 10 minutes.
You may want to do this every day until hemorrhoid heals. If your symptoms persist, see your doctor who can prescribe more powerful treatments like surgery or prescription medication if necessary.
Sitz baths have been used since ancient Egyptian times to soothe discomfort related to hemorrhoids and other issues related to the perineal region. Pregnant women sometimes use them during labor to take pressure off of the perineal muscles — which is what makes sitz baths safe for pregnant women who experience complications that require surgery or other procedures on their perineum.
Children with genital irritation from diaper rash might also benefit from a sitz bath. The downside to using a sitz tub is that they aren’t always portable, and you might find the water gets cold before a 20-minute soak it up.
It’s best to use a sitz bath both before and after surgery or an injury. If it’s difficult to remove your clothing, make sure you choose loose-fitting pants or shorts with easy access from the backside.
You can also wear a swimsuit if necessary. Place a towel under the area being treated, as this helps keep water from seeping out during use.
Make sure to keep the area dry for at least 30 minutes after. You can do your best to prevent infection by cleaning the sitz tub carefully (and throwing it away when you’re finished) and/or using disposable bath pouches if you choose not to make your own.
If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family. And if you have any other questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. We love hearing from our readers!
Thank you for reading! 🙂
About the Author
I am a writer who does research on the bathroom and researches whether minimalist or modern bathroom equipment and products. I will continue to write to make the time spent in the bathrooms enjoyable.