What is a sitz bath?

How can a sitz bath be beneficial for you? Is a sitz bath right for you? To give you ideas of the benefits and how to use it, we have rounded up some details below.

What is a sitz bath?

The word sitz derived from the German word “sitzen” meaning “to sit.” Fundamentally,
when you take a sitz bath, you sit in warm water. Experts say that soaking in
warm water increases the blood flow and helps heal the affected area. A sitz bath is a convenient, home remedy for cleansing and repairing the perineum, which is an area between the genitals and the anus.  


How to take a sitz bath?

A sitz bath can be done in two ways. This therapeutic bath is done in a bathtub or a sitz bath basin that sits over the toilet. Directions may vary depending on method of use and type of basin purchased.

For Toilet

  1. After you have purchased your sitz bath basin, place it over the toilet bowl. Be sure that it fits well and does not move. Follow the directions according to manufacturer.    

  2. Add recommended ingredients to water and let dissolve.

  3. Now, sit, relax and let the healing begin. Sitz bath treatments usually last about 15-20 minutes.

  4.   After soaking, use a clean towel and pat dry the affected area. Avoid rubbing the area, as this may trigger irritations.

  5. Clean your sitz bath thoroughly to avoid germs after use and keep it dry.

For Bathtub

  1. Clean your bathtub well with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of bleach and half a gallon of water.

  2. Fill the tub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water, or enough to cover bottom area when sitting. Add recommended ingredients to water and let dissolve.

  3. Relax and soak area for about 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. Be careful when getting out of the bathtub. Pat dry with a clean towel and avoid rubbing your perineum as this may trigger irritations.

  5. Clean the bathtub and rinse it well to remove any residue.


Benefits of Sitz Baths

Sitz baths are the go-to, home remedy because they are safe for all ages. Doctors recommend taking a sitz bath for many ailments in the perineal area.  These include, but are not limited to, after child birth, hemorrhoids, genital herpes, prostatitis, and anal fissures. The three most common uses for sitz baths are:

Postpartum Recovery

Postpartum is the first six weeks following the birth of a child. Usually, new mothers experience discomfort or postpartum bleeding and discharge. Sitz baths can soothe bruised perineum muscles and repair episiotomy stitches and tears. Taking a sitz bath in the postpartum period can be helpful in healing and relieving the discomfort and swelling around the perineal area as well as provides good hygiene and cleansing.  

Hemorrhoid Treatment

A hemorrhoid is caused by straining during bowel movements or having greater pressure on the veins during pregnancy period. Among its symptoms include itching, bleeding, a lump near the anus, discomfort, and irritations. Sitz baths can relieve these painful symptoms, help clean and disinfect the area.

Fissure Relief

A fissure is a small tear in the lining of the anus.  Common causes are chronic constipation, frequent diarrhea or straining during childbirth.  Fissures are commonly seen in infancy and young children but adults experience them as well.


What do you put in a sitz bath?

To make your sitz bath more effective, you can add salts, essential oils and other natural ingredients as recommended by your healthcare provider.  The following are known to be the most effective ingredients:

Epsom Salt

Adding Epsom salt in a sitz bath with warm water can soothe inflammation, sunburn, migraines, muscle cramps, and even psoriasis. This is because Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfur, which are minerals that are good for your body.

Lavender Oil

Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils and healing agent.  It is very effective for healing the perineal area.  Lavender is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory to name a few of its healing properties. Research shows that it helps wounds heal faster, regenerates skin tissue and shrinks swelling associate with hemorrhoids.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can help relieve itching and discomfort. Applied topically, it can promote fast healing and soothe pain in the affected area. Also, the fatty acids in coconut oil can restore damaged tissues in the perineal area.