A sitz bath is a plastic tub that fits over the toilet and can be filled with water. Sitting in the warm water for 15 to 20 minutes can provide relief from the discomfort from hemorrhoids, fistulas, anal fissures, or an episiotomy. This can be done by sitting in a bathtub filled with a few inches of water, but using a plastic sitz bath that fits over the toilet is often more convenient.
Time Required: 20 Minutes
- A sitz bath can be purchased at many drug store chains for about $10. You may also find them at hospital pharmacies or medical supply stores. If you will need a sitz bath after surgery or having a baby, ask the staff in the hospital if they can provide you with one before you go home.
- Prepare the items you will need so they are near at hand from where you will be using the sitz bath.
- Place the sitz bath over the toilet, ensuring that it fits well and will not shift.
- Fill the sitz bath with warm water. Remember that the water temperature will feel cooler to your hands than it will to the rest of the body.
- Some sitz baths come with a solution bag and a tube. The bag can be used by filling with water and hanging from a hook (in the hospital, typically an IV pole is used) that is higher than the toilet. A tube will run from the bag into the sitz bath to provide a continuous flow of water. Use the clamp provided to stop the water.
- Many sitz baths are designed with a vent to prevent overfilling. The water will not overflow when you sit it in, but rather will empty into the toilet bowel. If using a solution bag, the water will run continuously from the bag and out through the vents. If your sitz bath does not have a vent, be careful not to overfill it.
- If your doctor has recommended it, add salt to the water.
- Sit in the sitz bath for 10-20 minutes, or as recommended by your doctor.
- When finished, use a towel to gently pat the affected area dry.
- Use your sitz bath as often as recommended by your doctor; generally several times a day as needed to ease discomfort.
- Wash your sitz bath after each use and dry it thoroughly.
What You Need:
- Sitz bath
- Clean towel and washcloth
- Salt (if recommended)