A sitz bath for hemorrhoids relief can be helpful since hemorrhoids painful, especially during moments of straining (i.e. when passing a bowel movement). Seeking treatment for hemorrhoids is often difficult because people may be embarrassed to talk to their doctors about it or be seen purchasing hemorrhoid relief products, such as “Preparation H”.
The good news is that taking a sitz bath to soothe hemorrhoids can be done in the comfort of your own home.
The good news is that there are natural ways to soothe hemorrhoids in the comfort of your own home. For example, you can try taking a sitz bath.
What Is a Sitz Bath for Hemorrhoids?
A sitz bath, at the most basic level, is a shallow bath in warm water meant to soothe the lower part of your body. Specifically, a sitz bath targets the perineum area—the space between the rectum and vulva/scrotum. The idea is that the warm water will soothe the perineum, relax blood vessels and swelling and improve blood flow.
To perform a sitz bath you can use a regular bathtub; however, you can also find commercial sitz bath basins in stores or online. These are specially-designed basins that fit over a toilet seat. Whichever one you use depends on personal preference.
How a Sitz Bath Helps Soothe Hemorrhoids
The anal canal has many veins and blood vessels that run through its lining. These vessels are placed under high pressure during moments of prolonged sitting/straining that can result in swelling. High pressure can also come from the extra weight of an overweight or pregnant individual.
Warm water is a vasodilator, which means that it causes blood vessels to open and relaxes muscles. By loosening the tightened and swollen hemorrhoid, pain is eased and the hemorrhoid may even shrink. In the event that your hemorrhoid is severe enough to warrant surgical removal, a sitz bath can also ease lingering pain and discomfort as part of the aftercare.
Sitz baths can also be used to ease constipation and to strengthen pelvic floor muscles that may have become weakened from injury or giving birth. They can also provide general relief in cases of irritated or itchy skin.
A sitz bath can be taken with just warm water but some people might add salt, vinegar or baking soda (not both!) to add an enhanced cleansing effect.
How to Perform a Sitz Bath
Before you begin, it is important to clean the tub/basin. This is true regardless of whether you are using a bathtub or a basin product. If using a basin, make sure it is firmly secured once cleaned.
- First, fill the tub with three to four inches of water. The water should be warm but not enough to cause discomfort. You should also fill a flask or another container with hot water and keep it nearby. A sitz bath takes time and you will need to add extra water now and then to maintain the right temperature. If you are using additions like Epsom salts or vinegar, mix them in now.
- Next, drop your pants. Sit down on the basin or in the tub to begin soaking the perineum. If you are using a bathtub, you should try to place your legs over the side so that the perineum gets enough exposure.
- Soak for 15-20 minutes. Remember to add more warm water as needed to keep the temperature from dropping.
- After your time is up, rise slowly. Since a sitz bath dilates blood vessels, people have been known to get dizzy or have a rapid heartbeat after finishing one. This is normal and will pass.
- Ideally, you should air dry your rectum for maximum gentleness. Since this can be time-consuming, another option is to pat dry the area with a soft cotton cloth. The important thing is to not use a wiping motion since this can cause agitation. To keep the hemorrhoid site from drying out, you can apply gels like Preparation H as well.
- Lastly, clean and rinse the basin or tub with soap and water and remember to wash your hands after you’re done.
A sitz bath should be performed twice a day, ideally right after you have a bowel movement. One of the reasons for this timing is that a sitz bath can sometimes relax the anal canal enough to induce a bowel movement. Due to how connected constipation and hemorrhoids can be, this result may actually be desirable. In any case, should this happen you will need to thoroughly clean the tub or basin and empty out the water as soon as possible after passing the stool.
Risk Factors to Keep in Mind
A sitz bath is perfectly safe but there are some possible complications to be aware of. In rare cases, the perineum can become infected. This mainly happens if you have a surgical wound or if the tub or basin isn’t cleaned properly beforehand. Should the pain and/or itching worsen or the perineum area become red and puffy, stop taking sitz baths immediately.
Other Options for Hemorrhoid Relief
A sitz bath does not need to be your only source of treatment for hemorrhoid pain. There are several additional natural remedies you can employ alongside a sitz bath for maximum relief:
- As mentioned, straining on the toilet can aggravate hemorrhoids. Increase your fiber intake and stay hydrated to help move stool along and make bowel movements easier.
- If possible, bathe instead of shower. This will help keep the anal area clean and also provide warmth for the perineum area.
- Lightly moisten toilet paper and pat instead of wipe following a bowel movement.
- Avoid using pre-moistened toilet paper or any scented products. The perfume and alcohol these products contain will dry out and aggravate the rectal area.
Remember—if you want to naturally treat your hemorrhoids, try a sitz bath for hemorrhoid relief. It can be done in the privacy of your own home, help ease the pain as well as loosen the swollen hemorrhoids.
Sitz Bath For Hemorrhoids – How To Use, What To Put In
So what is a sitz bath for hemorrhoids, and why are sitz baths so highly recommended when we are in dire need of some relief from the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
A sitz bath is simply a shallow bath for sitting in, to ease discomfort, for people suffering from hemorrhoids or genital problems. The taking of regular sitz baths are so highly recommended because the warm water helps soothe and relax the anal sphincter, which helps lessen any pressure, while also reducing any itching sensations.
Best Sitz Bath For Hemorrhoids
For comfort and practicallity the best way to take a sitz bath (if you have hemorrhoids) is to use a purpose designed sitz bath kit (a plastic device that fits onto your regular toilet seat).
The reason is, the warm water must remain in direct contact with the exact area of inflammation for the duration of the treatment. So a comfortable seated position (with the buttocks already parted) while perched on your own toilet seat, is ideal. Water will naturally flow upon the hemorrhoid area while seated in this position. This is the preferred method for the majority of hemorrhoid sufferers.
If you use a large bowl, or try to do it in your bath tub, it can be a struggle to part your buttocks for at least 10 minutes. That is not the most comfortable way to do it.
Advice On Sitz Bath Device Kits
This is a very simple hydrotherapy method. You purchase a kit, containing a toilet seat basin, plus a water bag (2 quarts fill-able) with the connectable tubing. They are quite inexpensive to buy at your local pharmacy or online.
IMPORTANT : Make sure you measure your toilet seat size before buying the item, to get the right fit. If you have a standard oval or round shaped toilet you should be able to make it fit.
How To Use A Sitz Bath When Treating Hemorrhoids
First, prepare for your sitz bath properly, so you get used to the routine..
- SITZ BATH
- A SUPPLY OF WARM WATER
- A CLEAN TOWEL
- PERHAPS SOME READING MATERIAL OF YOUR CHOICE (YOU’LL BE THERE FOR 10 – 20 MINUTES SOAKING AWAY, SO YOU MAY NEED SOMETHING TO OCCUPY YOUR MIND.
STEP 1: After purchasing your sitz bath, clean it thoroughly with clean water and you’re ready to go. Attach it to the rim of your toilet bowl.
STEP 2: Fill the basin with a few inches (about 3 or 4 inches) of warm water. Use the elbow test (dipping your elbow in the water) to test for temperature. It is not a case of the hotter the better. Warm (to slightly hot) is usually best. A good sitz bath attachment bowl will have vents to allow overflow into the toilet (not over the bowl and onto the floor). So when you have a supply of fresh warm water, it is pumped from the water bag through the tube and into the basin, allowing for a fresh supply of clean warm water throughout the duration of your sitting.
STEP 3: There will be a clamp on the tubing. Make sure it is clamped before filling the water bag with warm water. Make sure the tubing is inserted into the basin properly.
STEP 4: Ease yourself onto the seat and take the clamp off the tubing, allowing the water to flow. Soak for 20 minutes, or as instructed. When you need a top up with fresh warm water, refill the water bag.
STEP 5: When finished, arise slowly without slipping or keeling over. Watch out for dizziness. Combine some pat drying and air drying, and try to maintain good ventilation at all times, as much as is socially acceptable.
STEP 6: Empty the water out, and give the basin a proper clean.
STEP 7: You can repeat these steps 3 or 4 times a day.
What To Put In A Sitz Bath To Soothe Hemorrhoids
There is no absolute requirement to add anything to the water, and there is no real evidence to suggest putting in a specific ingredient (or combination of ingredients) will make your sitz bath hemorrhoid treatment more effective. However, the following ingredients are recommended and may prove beneficial:
Sea Salt: Non-oidized salts are recommended for sitz bath use (some people may have a reaction to the iodine in regular table salt). The Salt water acts as an antibacterial agent and has traditionally been used to heal wounds and different skin conditions. You can make a solution using 4 tablespoons of sea salt.
Some people opt to take a sitz bath after a bowel movement. But what about taking a bowel movement during a sitz bath. As alarming as it sounds, the relaxing sensations can indeed induce a bowel movement. For individuals struggling with hemorrhoids, constipation and painful bowel movements, then it may be a case of whatever works and whatever helps you, is a good thing.
Constipation and hemorrhoids are often closely connected. Constipation may (or may not) cause hemorrhoids. But a constipation problem may create further damage, when you are trying to recover from hemorrhoids. So you may want to employ the services of a sitz bath to help relax and induce bowel movements. Some people opt to take a bowel movement during their sitz bath to help reduce the pain. If you do, obviously clean the basin and replenish with clean water for further soaking. The choice is yours.
The sitz bath hemorrhoids treatment is an important part of the recovery process. It helps maintain hygiene and gives much needed relief to sufferers during all stages of hemorrhoids. The idea is, if you need to soothe your bottom area 3 or 4 times a day, then a sitz bath can be prepared quickly, submerging only the area that needs attention.
Our advice is, the best way to perform a sitz bath for hemorrhoids, is to use the attachable toilet seat kits. This allows you to be in a comfortable position (for a minimum of 10 minutes), and it allows easy contact between the water and the exact (otherwise hard to reach) hemorrhoid area.
Sitz Bath for Hemorrhoids
A sitz bath is a relaxing way to naturally relieve a variety of hemorrhoid symptoms. Whether you’re experiencing itchiness in the rectal area, painful bowel movements, or all of the above, sitz baths can provide the temporary relief you need to get through the day.
Many doctors recommend sitz bath for hemorrhoids because sitting in warm water for a short period of time can encourage blood flow to the anal area. They also help relax the sphincter muscles, which promotes healing, soothes constipation, and eases overall discomfort. Here’s how it works:
Where to Purchase Sitz Baths
Sitz baths for hemorrhoids can be purchased at most drug stores. It is a plastic bowl that fits on top of your toilet seat with a cut out so excess water will drain back into the toilet. Fill the sitz bath with warm water, add a tablespoon of table salt, and sit comfortably for about 15 minutes at a time. You can also make your own sitz bath in the bathtub. Simply fill the tub with just enough warm water to cover your anal area, add the salt, and relax!
How to Get the Best Results from Your Sitz Baths
For maximum results, sit in the sitz bath for 15 minutes three time a day and after every bowel movement. When you’re done, remember to get up slowly. Dilation of blood vessels from warm water could, on occasion, cause dizziness. Also, be sure to dry the area completely once you are finished. Excess moisture left on the anal area can actually make hemorrhoids worse.
Learn more about sitz baths and other home remedies for hemorrhoids from your doctor. For a chance to get rid of hemorrhoids completely, talk to your doctor about the CRH O’Regan banding procedure.
A sitz bath or hip bath is a bath in which a person sits in water up to the hips. It is used to relieve discomfort and pain in the lower part of the body, for example, due tohemorrhoids (piles), anal fissures, rectal surgery, an episiotomy, uterine cramps, inflammatory bowel disease, and infections of the bladder, prostate or vagina. It works by keeping the affected area clean and increasing the flow of blood to it.
Such hip baths were originally a European custom, although modern sitz baths are used mainly for therapeutic purposes. The term sitz bath is derived from the German word Sitzbad, meaning a bath (Bad) in which one sits (sitzen).
A sitz bath may be created simply by filling a bathtub with some water and sitting in it for a few minutes. Alternatively, a large basin can be used. There are also special devices that fit into toilet bowls. Sitz baths may either be warm or cool, or alternating between the two. Substances such as salt, baking soda, or vinegar may be added to the water.
Warm baths are recommended for reducing the itching, pain and discomfort associated with conditions such as hemorrhoids and genital problems. An ordinary bathtub can be filled with 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) of hot water (about 110 °F (43 °C)), and sat in for 15–20 minutes or until the water cools down. Alternatively, a large basin can be used, and there are specially built devices that fit into toilet bowls.
Cool sitz baths are said to be helpful in easing constipation, inflammation and vaginal discharge, and, in cases of fecal or urinary incontinence, in toning the muscles.
Several variations of the procedure can be used, with different therapeutic effects depending on the temperature of the water, the length of time spent immersed and the method of immersion (such as dipping and ‘hot and cold alternate’). Some people find that alternating three to five times between a hot bath for 3–4 minutes and an ice-cold bath for 30–60 seconds is soothing. A towel soaked in cold water can be used in place of a cold bath.
For most purposes sitz baths with water are sufficient, though some people prefer to use saline water or water mixed with baking soda or mustard. The use of such additives helps to reduce infections. Women with candidiasis (a vaginal yeast infection) may benefit from a warm bath with salt and vinegar.
Risks of Sitz Bath
Sitz baths are considered very low risk. Because hot baths cause blood vessels to dilate, on rare occasions some people can feel dizzy or have palpitations (rapid or abnormal heartbeat). Individuals prone to such occurrences are advised to have someone standing by to assist them.
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