You may be suggested to take a sitz bath (Extremely Helpful For Hemorrhoids Patients) by your doctor if you are suffering from piles, hemorrhoids or anal fissure, or if you have given vaginal birth recently resulting in damaging the tissues. In this bath, you have to sit in the warm water for getting relief from swelling and pain to the anus or vaginal opening. This is a soothing and effective way to ease the injury, regardless of the area that needs the treatment. This is a very good home remedy to soothe the pain. Itching also gets better with this bath.
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You can use some specialized tools including the regular bathtub for taking this bath. Below are given two methods to take a sitz bath. You can use anyway according to your comfort.
Taking a Sitz Bath in the Bathtub:
Below are mentioned step by step instructions on how to take a sitz bath in the bathtub:
1. Clean the bathtub: You may get surprised by knowing how dirty the bathtub can be, an area where one goes to be clean! As you are going to have this bath to promote healing of the injured tissue, you should be assured of the clean and sterile environment. You can use any bleach-based cleaning product for cleaning the bathtub before taking the bath. Rinse the tub completely to assure that all the soap and cleaning products accumulating on the surface, are removed.
2. Set the water temperature: It is really important to use warm water and not the scorching hot water. There should not be caused any discomfort like inflammation or irritation due to the temperature of the water. Warm water increases the blood flow to the damaged tissue, that speeds up the healing process of the body in that place. You may go in for elbow test like people generally do for their babies. Finger test will work too.
3. Fill the tub with an adequate amount of water: Fill the bathtub with three to four inches of water. Plug the bathtub which won’t allow the water to drain out, after that, run the water till there is sufficient amount of water in the tub which helps you to completely immerse the troublesome area.
4. Add any soothing additives in the water (Optional): There isn’t any special need of adding something as the warm water alone can make you feel good. However, there are some add-ons you may mix in the water for treating different problems. Ask your doctor to recommend the calming additives for your bath.
You may add salt in the water. Make sure to warm the water up to the temperature according to your comfort, then add one-fourth cup of salt in it. Mix thoroughly to dissolves the salt completely in the water; now let the water cool down to a mild temperature.
In case you are suffering from a vaginal infection, mix a half cup of table vinegar in the salt water solution.
Herbal solutions are also good to treat hemorrhoids and any damaged tissues due to giving birth.
Add a half cup of Epsom salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of witch hazel, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 8 drops of chamomile essential oil and lavender essential oil each, in the water and mix well to make the solution.
- Soak yourself in the water. Be sure that the troublesome area is soaked in the warm water completely. Soak yourself for at least fifteen to thirty minutes. Run warm water as this is necessary for keeping the water temperature up.
- Pat yourself dry gently after the bath: You should be gentle enough with the damaged tissues while patting yourself dry after the bath. You should not rub yourself as you normally do. Try to use a soft and clean towel; pat and dab till the concerned area are dried.
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Using a Sitz Bath Kit
Below are mentioned step by step instructions on how to take a sitz bath using a sitz bath kit:
Using a sitz bath kit is very easy and comfortable. You can buy the kit from any medical store or any grocery store’s medical supply section. In case, you are not able to find the kit at any local store, you can order this online easily.
This kit has a bath basin which fits over the toilet seat; a plastic tube for spraying water, a solution bag for bathwater and a clamp for controlling the flow via the tube.
- Clean the basin completely: Even if you are using a new kit, you have to make sure that you are not exposing the damaged tissues to any possible infection. Clean the basin thoroughly, preferably with bleaching powder and rinse it completely. This is the post cleaning; this is right and apt to be used.
- Set up the sitz bath: The next thing you have to do is setting up the bath. You have to place the tube via the hole in the basin that you are using to circulate the solution throughout your bath. While using the tube, make sure that the tube is placed well, else the water may not collect, the way it should. In case you are having any trouble while locating the tube hole, read the directions that came with the kit.
Now snake the tube to the way to basin’s center and clip this in the bottom of the bowl. If required, go through the instructions and diagram on the kit for your help.
Cut off the flow via the tube by using the clamp as it is not desirable for it to start leaking before you are ready.
Add the solution bag or any other desired solutions prescribed by your doctor, in the warm water, and mix it well to repair the damaged tissues.
Once you are done with the procedure, just sit in a relaxing mode while this bath does its work.
- Put the basin & bag in place: Just make sure that the toilet seat is up, now put the basin on the inner rim of the toilet. It will be good if the bag is changed from some kind of hook, make sure that it is elevated for keeping the liquid to drain downwards.
- Sit comfortably on the basin: You have to adjust a little to be in a comfortable position. Adjust the position when required throughout the bath duration for avoiding any discomfort.
- Unclamp the tube: The next step includes the releasing of the clamp that is holding back the solution in the elevated bag. The house situated at the bottom of the bowl will start to spray upwards, therefore, do the necessary adjustments to make sure that the water is being sprayed to the concerned area to be treated. You may adjust your position or position of the hose.
In case, you are to adjust the hose’s position, then cut off the water’s flow by using the clamp. Else, you will make a mess.
- Sit and Relax: The bag’s solution should not be released all at once and should be released gently; you will get a few minutes to be relaxed into the spray if the kit is working properly. Even after the bag is empty and spraying is stopped by the house, you can soak yourself in the water that will be collected in the basin for as long as you wish.
- Leave the seat and be comfortable: When you finished taking the bath, leave your seat slowly and give some time to your muscles to be comfortable. Little dizziness can be felt as you kept sitting for some time in the same place.
- Pat yourself dry when you are done with bathing: Pat dry you and do not be harsh. Be extra soft. Be very gentle while drying yourself. Hard rubbing or scrubbing may become the reason of irritation or further injury which will only increase the problem.
Last but not the least: Just remember to clean the basin well because you may need to use it again.
When to have a sitz bath?
You need to take this bath if you are prescribed by a practitioner. Also, the kit can be bought without the prescription as well. This bath is used by many others, who are not suffering from the illness, to generally keep the area clean. Yes, this promotes faster healing yet, can be used generally as well. Be it minor itching, pain or any other discomfort, it is good for all.
Reasons to have this bath:
Some of the commonly known reasons, to convince you about the benefits are:-
- Post a vaginal or vulva surgery, you may use it very well
- Young mothers, who have normal delivery, can go for it
- Before hemorrhoids surgery, it is a blessing
- Being a patient of hemorrhoids, you will need a source to sooth the discomfort
- If you have uncomfortable bowel movements, use it
This bath can be taken, irrespective of age and gender. This is good for all. Children need to be supervised and need extra care; else it is very easy to be used.
There are certain medicines, which are prescribed by the doctors, to be used along with the sitz bath. For instance, you may take povidone-iodine. This medicine has got antibacterial properties. Some more additions like table salt/ vinegar/ baking soda, will better the effectiveness of the bath. You may opt for cool/warm bath, the choice is yours. Adding medicines is better, but, plain water is good too.
Additional sources to add: Sea salt is a very good source to cure hemorrhoids. You may mix it with water before taking a sitz bath. Using the regular iodized salt will only make the matter worst. Sea salt is antibacterial and that’s what you need to cure your pain. 3-4 tablespoons of sea salt will be good to make the right solution.
Sitz bath does not pose any threat to your health at all. This is a non-invasive treatment. The only reason that may trigger any risk or anything negative is the hygiene factor. If the tub is not clean, this will only deteriorate the condition of hemorrhoids, not better it.
In case if things are not getting better, let your practitioner know about it. Let him/her know the discomfort before it is too late. The key highlights are- the perineum may become red and puffed.
If the bath is helping you and doing well to you, the practitioner may ask you to have it 3-4 times a day. This is help in the long run.
If you have been told to get back to your normal life, by your practitioner, you may, else it is best to listen to your doctor for good.
Things to ponder over:
Patients of hemorrhoids take this bath before they have had a bowel movement. But! It is said, it is better to have a bowel movement while having sitz bath. You must be feeling a bit uncomfortable post reading this, but do not be so. It is indeed very relaxing for any patient to have a bowel movement while he/she is having a sitz bath.
Usually, constipation is what triggers the emergence of hemorrhoids. Since you may have a smoother bowel movement, you may go for it.
Remember, constipation will only increase the problem so try to avoid it by pursuing a healthy lifestyle. While trying hard to recover from the problem, this will be good for you.
Health Counselor and Primary Care Physician by profession, I have 12 years experience in primary health care services. Years of practical experience in women’s health care & ANC services and study have gained me a lot of knowledge on several health issues and I wish to share these medical advice and suggestion through this blog.