Sitz Bath: FSA Eligibility
What is a sitz bath?
A sitz bath is a type of bath, with the name stemming from the German "sitzen" for sit, meant to treat and cleanse the hips, perineum, genital and anal areas. A sitz bath is also called a hip bath for the same reasons. Sitz baths are commonly recommended for treatment after hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal surgery, episiotomy, uterine cramps, inflammatory bowel disease, and infections affecting the bladder, rectum, prostate or vagina. A sitz bath can refer to either a special medical product designed to be used by itself, a product that attaches to a toilet, or the use of an existing bathtub for having a sitz bath (Healthline).
A sitz bath can be taken with lukewarm water to increase bloodflow to the affected areas of the body, with just a few inches of water drawn into the enclosure. A sitz bath can also be conducted with alternations of hot and cold water at intervals ranging from several minutes of hot water to a minute or two of cold water, depending on comfort levels.
Sitz baths are usually recommended to be taken with just water, although for certain infections it may be useful to take a sitz bath with saline water and/or baking soda. They are noninvasive and safe for treating a variety of medical conditions and diseases. They are not recommended for use beyond 20 minutes at a time, or so. After using a sitz bath, drying should occur by gentle patting with a towel, or a blow dryer on a low setting.
Sitz baths are appropriate for all age levels, with adult supervision for infants and small children.
Sitz bath kits that fit over a toilet usually have a release valve that prevents water overflow by allowing excess water to run into the toilet.