Why Take a Sitz Bath?

When you take a sitz bath, you sit in warm water to help relieve pain in your bottom or around your private parts.

Your doctor might suggest one if you have hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, or if you've just had a baby. You can easily draw one in your own bathtub.

The word sitz comes from the German word “sitzen,” which means “to sit.”

When Should I Take One?

Soaking in water at a mild temperature can help speed up the healing process by boosting blood flow. It won't cure your condition, but it will soothe irritation.

A sitz bath is typically used as a home treatment for the following:

A sitz bath can offer relief from soreness, burning, and inflammation, but you may need other treatments as well.

A pediatrician may suggest a sitz bath for a child with uncomfortable bowel movements, a skin reaction, or an injury in the genital area.

What’s It Like?

It doesn’t take a lot of water -- only a couple of inches. Don't add shower gel, bubble bath, or any type of soap. The temperature should be lukewarm and comfortable to the touch.

Soak up to three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. Depending on your condition, a doctor may suggest more.

If you’re making a sitz bath in your tub:

  • Fill the bathtub with about 2 to 3 inches of warm water.
  • Sit in the tub, making sure your private area is covered.

Afterward, gently pat the area dry using a soft towel. You can also dry off by using a hair dryer on a cool or low, warm setting.

Medical supply stores, as well as pharmacies, sell small plastic tubs or basins that fit over a toilet seat, too.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on September 08, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health: “Sitz bath.”

Stanford University Medical Center: “Sitz Bath Patient Education.”

Harvard Health Publications: “Hemorrhoids and what to do about them.”

University of Michigan Health System: “Sitz Baths.”

UC Davis Cancer Center and UC Davis Children’s Hospital: “Sitz bath.”

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