How do I Use a Sitz Bath for Hemorrhoids?

Dee S.
Dee S.

Using a sitz bath for hemorrhoids can often help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with the condition. To take a sitz bath, you should submerge the affected area under water for about 30 minutes. Then the affected area should be gently dried, and medicated wipes or aloe vera gel should be applied.

Aloe has a calming effect on the skin.
Aloe has a calming effect on the skin.

Purchasing a sitz bath is relatively easy, since they are typically sold from medical supply stores, drugstores, and online. They are usually made of plastic or porcelain, with plastic being far less expensive. Some have attachments to allow fresh water to flow in, while others are simply buckets. In fact, if you want to avoid the cost of a sitz bath can use a home bathtub or a bucket and experience a similar effect.

The overuse of laxatives by a person with an eating disorder may cause hemorrhoids.
The overuse of laxatives by a person with an eating disorder may cause hemorrhoids.

To use the sitz bath for hemorrhoids, put the bath over a place where excess water can easily drain, ideally the toilet, so that extra water can flow out into the bowl of the toilet. From there, it can easily and hygienically flush down the drain, with little to no clean-up.

Performing gentle exercising during pregnancy may help prevent hemorrhoids.
Performing gentle exercising during pregnancy may help prevent hemorrhoids.

Warm or cool water — not hot — can be used. Add enough water to the bath so the affected area, even as far up as the hips, is submerged. Although warm and the cool water do different things, both will treat the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids. In fact, the warm and cool water baths can even be alternated.

A sitz bath can cause the blood vessels in hemorrhoids to increase in blood flow.
A sitz bath can cause the blood vessels in hemorrhoids to increase in blood flow.

Warm water causes the blood vessels of the hemorrhoids to dilate and increases the blood flow. It also helps relax the muscles surrounding the rectal area. As a result, the hemorrhoids may not be as painful. If the water is cool, there will be less blood flow through the blood vessels, reducing inflammation and pressure.

Increased straining during defecation may cause hemorrhoids.
Increased straining during defecation may cause hemorrhoids.

After the water is added to the bath, simply relax and soak in the water. Most people feel relief after about half an hour. At that time, the hemorrhoid area should be gently dried, using a patting motion. Medicated pads may also be used and soothing gels, such as aloe vera, may be applied to the affected area. Although using the sitz bath for hemorrhoids may help relieve the symptoms, it will not provide a lasting cure for the condition.

A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein on and around the rectal area.
A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein on and around the rectal area.
Warm water helps relax muscles surrounding the rectal area.
Warm water helps relax muscles surrounding the rectal area.
Dee S.
Dee S.

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

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Discussion Comments


Hilarious. I had only occasionally heard of this so-called Sitz bath a few times during my life. Trying to help my son deal with his lifetime of not eating right, I started to investigate this miracle bath. How hilarious. Idiots throwing money away on needless junk. Probably the same ones who spend 200 bucks a month on worthless vitamins that they swear by. Guess what? You paid money for it, so mentally, you're going to swear they work.


A lot of people get hemorrhoids. It seems to be a pretty common problem, so I don't know why people get so embarrassed about it! I guess it's just one of those things no one likes to talk about.

Anyway, every time I go to the pharmacy I always see a display of sitz baths, and they're definitely not that expensive. If you have this problem, I would definitely just go for it with the sitz baths. No sense in suffering if you don't have to.


@SZapper - Well, I can see why some people wouldn't want to bother with running a whole bath just to soak one area. In fact, a friend of mine was pregnant recently and sitz baths pretty much saved her sanity during that time!

I don't know if everyone knows this, but pregnant women are prone to getting hemorrhoids. I've never been pregnant or had a hemorrhoid, so when my friend was telling me about it I was like, "What is a sitz bath?" When she explained it to me it sounded pretty handy if you have that particular problem.


I know a sitz bath is supposed to be the best hemorrhoids home treatment, but I think it's kind of a gimmick. You could do the same thing just by sitting in your own bathtub that you already have without buying anything!

I think the only time actually purchasing a sitz bath makes sense is if you don't have a shower or have mobility issues, as someone else said. I'm sure it's much easier to do a sitz bath over a toilet than to get yourself all the way in the tub if you don't have a full range of motion. Other than that, I think a sitz bath is a waste of money.


Sometimes using a sitz bath at home can be somewhat challenging depending on what your mobility is.

If you have a hard time getting in and out of a bathtub, it won't work to use it in the tub. When my mom had to have a sitz bath after surgery, we had to install hand rails on each side of the toilet for her.

She was then able to use a sitz bath herself and not have to depend on someone else to help her. It can be kind of an awkward situation if you don't having an privacy when you have a sitz bath.

She seems to get good relief from a sitz bath for hemorrhoids about once a week. She has also used some of the creams in the past, but they don't seem to give her much relief like a bath does.


Hemorrhoids can sure cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Until I had to start some hemorrhoid treatment, I had no idea how miserable they could be.

I don't mind talking about this with my doctor, but it is one of those subjects that I don't feel comfortable discussing with very many people.

I have been using some sitz bath treatment. Using cold water just doesn't work at all for me as I can never relax because the water is so cold.

What I have found most helpful is to use warm water and some of the medicated pads that have aloe vera in them when I am done.

It feels so good to get some relief, but I wish I could find something that would last longer than a sitz bath does.


I love the sitz baths that have water running through them at all times. That makes me feel more sanitary than the kind you sit in for a long time with stagnant water.

It really hurts to dry off with a towel, so I have started using my hair dryer on the lowest heat setting. I dry the area most of the way, and then I stop to apply some aloe vera gel. Then, I turn it on the cool setting to dry the gel, which is so soothing.

I used to take regular baths, but after switching to showers a few years ago, I started having more hemorrhoid issues. Since a sitz bath can serve as a lower half shower, I prefer it to a regular bathtub.


I had hemorrhoid surgery a year ago, and my doctor suggested that I use a sitz bath to promote healing and to relieve my discomfort. I had one that could be attached to my faucet for constant flow of clean water, but since that would wash out some of the salt, I had to leave it unhooked.

My doctor told me to use sea salt during my sitz baths. She said that natural salt from the sea has a healing and antibacterial quality, and it is even better than Epsom salt for soaking wounds.

I put about a quarter cup of sea salt in my sitz bath water. I could tell a difference after a couple of days. I know that it helped me heal faster, and I use it now from time to time to prevent more flareups.


@kylee07drg – It can be a shock when you first sit down in cold water, but I find that it helps me more than warm water. I have an awful lot of inflammation down there, and the cold water relieves it very well.

I only spend about fifteen minutes in the sitz bath, but that is all it takes for me. I can see how a person might sit longer than that in warm water, because it would be more relaxing. I am just trying to get rid of the irritation as quickly as possible.

I put my sitz bath in the actual bathtub. I use a whole lot less water than it would take to fill up the bathtub to my belly button, which is where the water in the sitz bath comes up to, because it is such a small space.


I have a plastic sitz bath that I got at a drugstore. It is designed to rest on my toilet, but it is not the kind that you can flush water through.

It does have a cutout in the back to prevent water from splashing onto the floor. When I sit down in it, the displaced water can leak out the back into the toilet. Three half-inch tall and two-inch wide slits allow for this displacement.

I prefer to use very warm water instead of cold. I'm very sensitive to the cold, and warm water is much more soothing.

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