#HLWDK Daily Health tips: Are Sitz Baths Safe?

Q: Hello I would like to know if sitting in warm or hot water in the bath tub can damage the walls of the vagina or the vagina itself.

A: Hi dear, what you describe is a sitz bath and is typically used by women who have had episiotomies. Can it damage the walls of the vagina? No, especially if you follow the tips in this post. My assumption here is that the sitz bath is for an episiotomy.

What’s a sitz bath? This is a warm water bath that helps cleanse the perineum. Just in case you wondered, the perineum is that space between the rectum and the genitals. The right temperature is the one that you can handle without sustaining burns. Putting a few drops of this water on the inner surface of your wrist can help confirm this.
Plain warm water is sufficient but some people add salt to the water which is soothing. Your doctor may also suggest other things he/she may want you to add to the water.

To prepare this, you can either use the plastic sitz bath kit, (a special bowl specifically made for this which fits on your toilet seat so you can sit down easily on it), or your bath tub. Be sure to scrub your plastic sitz bath kit or bathtub, thoroughly, before and after use. If using the bathtub, add sufficient warm water to sit on and then get in. To get the job done properly, you can try hanging your legs out of the tub. Usually, you are encouraged to sit for 10 to 15 minutes on the water. Pat the perineal area dry after you’re done. Do not rub vigorously…remember the area is sore and if you’ve had stitches, it could mess things up 😀 This can be repeated up to 3 to 4 times daily as needed.

To ensure that the episotomy site heals well, use prescribed pain medication, avoid sitting on hard surfaces. Try using a pillow ( a regular or circular one/boppy pillow). Avoid constipation and indeed diarrhea and try placing a pad over the suture area while bearing down to poop. Urinating presents a challenge as pain is experienced during this process. Try using water to rinse off afterwards, preferably using a squirt bottle.

Eat healthy, keep the surgery site as clean as possible and enjoy your time with your baby. This too shall pass. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have concerns.

Have a good night y’all 😀

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