What Is a Sitz Bath?
A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleanses the perineum (the space between the rectum and the vulva or scrotum). A sitz bath can be used for everyday personal hygiene. It can also provide relief from pain or itching in the genital area.
You can give yourself a sitz bath in your bathtub or with a plastic kit that fits over your toilet. The kit is available in most big-box stores and pharmacies.
When Is a Sitz Bath Used?
A sitz bath does not require a physician’s prescription. Some people use sitz baths regularly as a way to cleanse the perineum.
Others find sitz baths useful for relieving itching, irritation, and minor pain. Doctors often suggest sitz baths to manage pain following the surgical removal of hemorrhoids, surgery involving the vulva or vagina, and childbirth.
Doctors sometimes prescribe medications to add to the sitz bath. Adding table salt, vinegar, or baking soda to the water can create a soothing solution. You also may take a sitz bath using only warm water.