Rectal and vaginal conditions can be an incredibly painful experience, both physically and emotionally. On the one hand, sharp pain in this region can distract from all other aspects of a patient’s life, leaving one unable to go about a normal daily routine or even sit or use the toilet normally. On the other hand, given the sensitive and potentially embarrassing nature of these conditions, telling others about these issues can seem mortifying and impossible. Women in particular can be subject to this type of discomfort, especially before and after childbirth. Sitz baths are specially designed to help people in this position.
Sitz Bath 101
The word “sitz” comes from the German word for “sit.” A sitz bath provides a space in which those with rectal and vaginal pain can sit and soak the affected area in luke warm to warm water. This can help soothe the affected region and relieve burning, inflammation, soreness, and other painful sensations.
Fivona brand made a portable sitz baths kits which can be fitted to standard toilets, allowing users to sit on them as they would on their usual toilet. These kits include a shallow basin made of high quality disposable plastic and hand sprayer to enhance the soaking experience. Put the bath over the toilet and attach sprayer to the bottom of the basin.
Once the bath has been set up, it is filled with warm water. Fivona sitz bath basins have vent removing excess water, preventing the basin from overflowing.
Sitz Bath Usage
Before using a sitz bath, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor or gynecologist for specifics.
That said, general directions for usage are as follows:
- Fill the basin a couple of inches
- Make sure the water covers your rectal or vaginal area
- Do not use any gel, bubble bath, or type of soap, as this can sting and harm the affected region
- Soak times typically last 10 to 15 minutes
- The most common soak regimen includes three soaks per day, though your case may vary
- After your soak, pat the area gently with a soft towel
Why Sitz Baths Are Used
As stated, the primary purpose of a sitz bath is to warm and soothe areas of your rectal or vaginal region that have suffered severe injuries or otherwise are subject to serious conditions.
For example, sitz baths can be used to help heal the anal area in the aftermath of hemorrhoids. This condition can lead to your anus being severely irritated or damaged with hemorrhoids passing through and causing tearing, inflammation, or infections in your anogenital area. Sitz baths can also be used to cleanse your anus following hemorrhoids and similar conditions to prevent infection.
Furthermore, if you have recently had surgery affecting your anogenital area, a sitz bath may also be beneficial.
Bowel movements themselves can be a cause of anal discomfort and damage. If you have recently experienced constipation, diarrhea, or other severe and irregular bowel movements, and your anal area is severely affected, a soothing sitz bath can help ease the pain while enabling you to wash away any excess matter, helping you to prevent infection.
Sitz baths are especially pertinent in the case of anal fissures. These are painful, tiny tears that can result from any of the aforementioned conditions, as well as childbirth.
Sitz Baths for Women
It can also be used for regular vaginal health. The vaginal area around the labia can sometimes secrete discharge which, if left unwashed, can lead to infections and health conditions. If left unchecked, these conditions can become serious and also result in foul odor. For some, sitz baths may be an easier way of washing these areas. In the event of an infection, washing the area with a sitz bath in conjunction with medication can also be a very beneficial but again, please consult with you doctor first.
By following these steps, you can achieve the relief you need and deserve through the benefits of a sitz bath.