Sitz baths are coming back into popularity as a low risk, medicine-free solution to many health issues. Sitz baths are very helpful for a woman after childbirth whether or not she had an episiotomy. A sitz bath can also be used to treat hemorrhoids, prostate infections, anal and vaginal fissures, and ease the discomfort of genital herpes, and vaginal or bladder infections.
You may be wondering, what is a sitz bath? A sitz bath is literally what it sounds like - a bath where you sit in warm water that covers the buttocks and hips. This explains why so many people call it a 'sits bath'. Sitting in warm water allows more blood to reach the impacted area, promoting healing and helping with any discomfort. A sitz bath uses the theory of hydrotherapy or water therapy.
The following steps will guide you through the process of taking a sitz bath. If you're trying to get rid of a urinary infection rather than just ease the discomfort of it, you may need more than a sitz bath -- I suggest you consider this all-natural cure that gets rid of UTIs in 48 hours without antibiotics. And if you're looking for a strong, natural cure for hemorrhoids and the bath won't bring enough relief, I recommend a program that I found on WebMD -- Nature’s Method To Cure Hemorrhoids.
- You'll need a bathtub, shallow bucket or a sitz bath. The plastic sitz bath sits over a toilet and is recommended. Many of these plastic sitz baths come with the ability to continuously add warm water to the bath so it doesn't get cold. The overflow of the water goes into the toilet. You can buy a sitz bath at most drugstores - plastic sitz baths will cost around ten to fifteen dollars.
- Fill up your bathtub, bucket or sitz bath with warm water. The water should be warm enough to be almost uncomfortable, but not warm enough to burn. The water should be just deep enough to cover your buttocks and hips.
- In an optional step (some practitioners skip the cold water step), you can fill up another bathtub, bucket or sitz bath with cold water. If you're using the cold water sitz bath in addition to the warm, you'll want to move back and forth between the cold and warm water every few minutes. In her book Herbal Healing for Women, Rosemary Gladstone recommends moving back and forth between the waters five to six times, several times a week.
- Most practitioners recommend sitting in the water for about 20-30 minutes several times a week to promote healing.
- When you get out of your sitz bath, make sure you dry the area with a clean, cotton towel. You should pat, not rub dry. Some practitioners recommend letting the area air dry.
- You can add salts to sitz baths if your doctor recommends it. This can be very helpful for vaginal or perineal discomforts in women (especially after childbirth). The amount of salt depends on the size of your sitz bath. Add enough salt to your sitz bath so that it easily dissolves.
- Some women have found relief from vaginal yeast infections by adding vinegar to sitz baths. The vinegar makes the vaginal tissues an inhospitable home to the yeast. You should double-check with your doctor before attempting this or any other sitz bath recipe like an herbal bath, however.