I love having a sitz bath. It is faster than taking a bath – and it is a good time to practice breathing techniques and meditation, or open space meditation as well. A sitz bath is a warm soothing soak for your perineal or bottom area (area between your legs including your anus, vagina or scrotums). The soak is made up of water and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or salt.
A sitz bath is not just beneficial for women after child birth, as it also works well for people who have any kind of irritation to their perineal or bottom area.
How does a sitz bath help?
Benefits to having a sitz bath:
Cleanses your perineal and bottom area
Reduces the chances of infection after surgery
Soothes the skin, and is a great way to clean the area without soap
Increases blood circulation to the area that can help with healing
How often should I have a sitz bath?
I normally would only do it twice a day, but many people will do it up to 4 times each day. It depends on your needs and time constraints.
Some people have a sitz bath after each bowel movement if their anal area is very sore.
How do you use a plastic sitz bath on the toilet?
- Rinse the sitz bath to remove any soap or salt residue.
- Lift the toilet seat and put the plastic sitz bath in the toilet bowl like in the picture.
- Fill the plastic sitz bath two-thirds (2/3) full with warm water, not hot water. If the water feels too warm on your elbow, it is too hot to sit in.
- Add 1⁄2 to 1 tablespoon (5 to 15mL) of baking soda or 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10mL) of salt to the water in the plastic sitz bath. Swirl the water until the baking soda or salt dissolves.
- Carefully sit down in the plastic sitz bath and soak your bottom area for 5 to 15 minutes. Be aware that as you sit down, the extra water may spill into the toilet through the openings in the sitz bath.
- When finished, dry your bottom by patting the area with a soft cotton towel. Another way to dry the area is to use a blow dryer set on low or you can even use a hand-held fan. You could also take the time to clean your bathroom, or do something else and wait for your area to dry. I have a 100 percent cotton long skirt I throw on until my area is completely dry.
- Try and leave your bottom open to the air as much as possible. Use cotton underwear with no elastic along the leg holes. I sometimes wear them inside out, as that keeps the seams from annoying my area as well. I also have some 100 percent organic cotton mens oversized boxer shorts that I wear around the house. They are not sexy, but they are comfortable.
- Clean the plastic sitz bath with vinegar or really hot water after each time you use it.