A sitz bath (also called a hip bath) is a type of bath in which only the hips and buttocks are soaked in water & herbs. Its name comes from the German verb "sitzen," meaning "to sit."
A sitz bath is used for patients who have had surgery in the area of the rectum, or to ease the pain of hemorrhoids, uterine cramps, prostate infections, painful ovaries, and/or testicles. It is also used to ease discomfort from infections of the bladder, prostate, or vagina. Inflammatory bowel diseases are also treated with sitz baths.
Warm sitz baths are one of the easiest and most effective ways to ease the pain of hemorrhoids. A warm bath is also effective in lessening the discomfort associated with genital herpes, uterine cramps, and other painful conditions in the pelvic area.
"The sitz bath affects mainly the circulation in the lower abdominal and pelvic region. It does so without influencing the circulation in the lower limbs because the legs are not immersed. It serves mainly to disperse congestion in the abdominal and pelvic organs, a common problem for sedentary workers.
"Sitz baths are not to be taken more than three times a week. Convenient plastic tubs that facilitate the use of this application are available, but you can also use an ordinary bathtub.
"Fill the tub about one-third full so that the water covers the upper portion of the thighs, the seat, and the abdomen up to the navel. It is most comfortable to sit crosswise in the bathtub with the feel resting on a small stool set on the floor.
"In this positin, the circulation in the back of the knees will not be restricted. With practice, you will be able to take a sitz bath without having to undress completely. To avoid a chill, the upper torso should be clothed, or a light blanket or sheet should be draped over the shoulders and chest."
NOTE! A brief, cool sitz bath helps ease inflammation, constipation, and vaginal discharge. It can be used to tone the muscles in cases of bladder or bowel incontinence.