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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A sitz bath is when you soak in a warm or hot water tub to promote wound healing. It is often done after surgeries on the rectal or genital area. The heat from the water will clean the area, improve blood flow for healing, and decrease swelling and pain.
Gather your sitz bath supplies:
- A bathtub thermometer to check the water temperature
- Towels to cover your upper body during the bath and to dry off after
- A footstool to help you enter the bathtub if needed
- Bath mats to prevent slips in the tub and after you get out of the tub
- Clean clothes to wear after the bath
Fill the bathtub with water:
Fill the bathtub with water until it is at about the level of your belly button. Check the temperature of the water before you get in. For a warm water sitz bath, the water should be 94° to 98° Fahrenheit. A hot water sitz bath should be between 105° to 110° Fahrenheit. Stay in the bath for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Portable sitz bath:
You may be sent home with a portable sitz bath if you cannot get in and out of the bathtub. This is a small tub that will fit under your toilet seat. You will fill the tub with water as directed once it is under the toilet seat. Check the temperature of the water. You will also have a squirt bottle or water bag filled with the warm water. These are used to let the water flow out over the wound area during the sitz bath. This is also done for 15 to 20 minutes.
Important tips when taking a sitz bath:
- You may have some discomfort when at first when you sit in the warm water. This should go away shortly after entering the tub.
- Check the water temperature a few times during the bath. You may need to add more water to keep it at the right temperature.
- Take a sitz bath when someone is close by to help you if needed. The heat from the water may cause you to feel weak or lightheaded. If this happens, call for help to get out of the tub. Do not stand up on your own in case you lose your balance.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.