A sitz bath is a warm water bath used for healing or cleansing purposes. You sit in the bath. The water covers only your hips and buttocks. The water may contain medicine.
Sitz baths are often used to relieve pain, itching, or muscle spasms. The baths are often recommended to relieve pain and speed healing after hemorrhoid surgery or an episiotomy (surgical cut to widen the vagina opening during childbirth).
Huyck A, Broderick K. Hydrotherapy. In: Pizzorno JE, Murray MT, eds. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2013:chap 40.
Review Date 1/26/2017
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.