How to use a Sitz Bath
Sitz baths are a great way to soothe an uncomfortable area after any kind of corrective surgery. It can be helpful to have a warm bath after any kind of dental work to help relieve pain and suffering, and sitz baths can be particularly effective after a colonoscopy. It can be used by anyone with an open anus who wants to heal quickly after any kind of procedures or where recommended to avoid or sooth painful conditions.
Instructions on taking a sitz bath
A sitz bath can be taken in 2 ways: in a bathtub or using a sitz bath bowl.(See Sitz Bath to purchase)
In a bathtub
- Make sure your bathtub is clean. Fill a clean bathtub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water. In some cases, your healthcare provider may tell you to use cold water instead.
- Add salt or medicine to the water if advised by your healthcare provider.
- Gently lower yourself down into the bathtub and sit on the bottom of the tub. Don’t get into the bath unless the water temperature is comfortable.
- Hold on to a railing. Or ask for help from a family member, friend, or caregiver if needed.
- If you have a wound, the water may cause pain at first. But the pain should ease. Make sure the area that needs treating is under the water. You can bend your knees up to help expose the area that needs contact with the water.
Using a sitz bath bowl
A sitz bath bowl is a special plastic container that’s placed on a toilet (see Plastic Sitz Bath):
- Lift the toilet lid and seat. Place a cleaned plastic sitz bath bowl on the rim of your toilet. Make sure the bowl is firmly in place and won’t move around.
- Fill the sitz bath bowl with warm water from a pitcher or other container. The water should cover your perineum. Make sure the water temperature is comfortable.
- Add salt or medicine to the water if advised by your healthcare provider. Or follow the package instructions about how to fill the bowl. Some kits come with a plastic bag and tubing. This lets you stream water into the bowl and at the area of your body that needs treatment. The bowl may have a slot or hole in the back. This lets water flow out so it doesn’t overflow onto the floor. If there is no hole, be careful not to fill the bowl too full.
- Gently sit down on the sitz bath bowl. Hold on to a railing. Or ask for help from a family member, friend, or caregiver if needed.
- If you have a wound, the water may cause pain at first, but the pain should ease. Make sure the area that needs treating is under the water.
- Sit in the water for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Add more warm water as needed to keep the water comfortable.
- Get up slowly from the tub or toilet. You may feel lightheaded or dizzy. Hold on to a railing. Or ask for help from a family member, friend, or caregiver if needed.
- Gently pat your anal area, perineum, and genitals dry with a clean towel. Don’t rub the area.
- Wash your hands. Put any ointment or cream on the area, if advised.
- Wash the bathtub or sitz bath bowl with soap and water after each use.
- Use a sitz bath 2 to 3 times a day, or as often as your healthcare provider advises.
When to call your healthcare provider
- Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:
- Redness, swelling, or fluid leaking from a cut (incision) that gets worse
- Pain that gets worse
- Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse
- New symptoms