What is Sitz bath?


‘Sitz’ is a derivative of a German word ‘sitzen’ which generally means ‘to sit’, and that’s exactly explains what to do. A Sitz bath is used to bath bottom of the body when you sit down usually referring to buttocks and hips or lower abdomen portion of the body. It referred and administered by doctor to reduce the pain and the Sitz bath is in the form of a basin where one needs to sit for a period of 10-20 minutes. The basin is filled with warm water which immerses the bottom portion of hip and buttocks. Sitz bath has an alternate flow of warm and cold water coming in the ratio of 4:1 more likely in the intervals of 4 minutes to 1 ratio respectively.  There exists a continuous flow of warm water in Sitz bath. At some particular temperature the warm water is to be maintained constantly.

Use of Sitz bath

Sitz bath can be purchased from the store and placed over the toilets. It should be fitted properly and ensured before using it. One needs to fill the Sitz bath basin with warm water. Generally all the Sitz bath has a solution bag and a tube where bag is filled with water. Solution bag is fitted above the toilet and hanged from a hook in the toilet. A tube is fitted which helps continuous flow of water.  Some Sitz bath has vents to avoid overfilling of water. Water will run continuously from the solution bag and they are emptied into the toilet bowel. One can also add salt to water, if it is recommended by the doctor. One has to sit in the Sitz bath for about 10-20 minutes or as recommend by the doctor. Use a fresh dry towel to gently pat (do not rub) the affected area dry. Use Sitz bath as many times per day recommended by the doctor. Wash Sitz bath cleanly after every use.  

Working of Sitz bath

Sitz bath works by altering the blood flow to the area by passing warm and cold water alternatively when immersing in water.

Think of putting hand in a bowl of comfortably warm water – on leaving it still for about a minute and taken out one can notice that the skin has changed color to redder than the normal. In the case of cold water it is slightly reverse where a pale color results. The reason behind is that body changes color depending upon the local temperature and thereby alters blood supply within that area.  This will result in the body releasing heat which is directly depending on the blood flow to that area. Blood acts like a coolant in our body. Blood absorbs the heat from our body parts when it is passed through. If amount of heat is high in particular area then the flow of blood also increases and energy is absorbed in that heat otherwise the cells in that area work improperly or even die.

Instructions of Sitz bath

  • Fill a Sitz bath basin usually with a few inches of warm water.
  • Pour the medication as given by the doctor into the water and follow the instructions and suggested dosage as per the doctors recommendation.
  • Normally every sit in the Sitz bath is for about 10-20 minutes.
  • Clean buttocks and hips area with warm water to get relief from pain.
  • Use a soft towel to pat the anal area dry and do not rub it.

Postpartum Sitz bath

After delivering a child, mother feels very much discomfort. Postpartum Sitz bath is very much similar to Sitz bath method. Postpartum healing is speedy with some ingredients included like natural herbal remedies with a warm bath. Ingredients mostly used in Postpartum are 3 cups sea salt, 1 ounce comfrey root (or leaf), 3 ounces myrrh gum powder, 3 ounces uva ursi.


All these ingredients are taken into a bowl and ingredients should be mixed thoroughly. Place the mixture content in a mesh bag or even a brand new knee high stocking. Add water to the mixture and one need to stir it continuously for about an hour.  Add warm water to the Sitz bath basin where one wants to bath for soaking. Sitz baths are used and required to get relief from the pain.