Taking a Sitz Bath, requested 9/20/34 from H. J. Reilly, Ph.T.
From reading T3104-00 for PRURITUS
For the sitz bath, a porcelain sitz tub with special inlet
and outlet is the most satisfactory; one of metal or an
ordinary washtub may be used. In addition, there should be a
foot tub for immersion of the feet in hot water; also a pail
of cold water with a hand towel for keeping the head cool.
Protect the patient from contact with the tub by towels or
fomentation cloths placed behind the back and under the
knees. Cover the patient with a blanket or a sheet. The
temperature of the foot bath should be at least two or three
degrees above that of the sitz bath.
1. Cold Sitz Bath.
Sufficient water should be used to cover the hips and come
up on the abdomen. Temperature 55 degrees to 75 degrees F.
Foot bath, 105 degrees to 110 degrees F. Time, one to
eight minutes. Rub the hips to promote reaction. Friction
mitts may be used. If desired, the water may be flowing.
Effects: If of brief duration - two to four minutes - it
greatly stimulates the pelvic circulation, and the
musculature of the bowels, the bladder, and the uterus.
When it is given with very cold water (55 degrees to 65
degrees F) and vigorous friction (cold rubbing sitz bath)
these effects are intensified. The cold rubbing sitz bath
is very useful in constipation, in subinvolution, and in
hastening the absorption of residual thickening after pelvic
2. Prolonged Cold Sitz Bath.
Temperature, 70 degrees to 85 degrees F. Time, fifteen to
forty minutes. Feet bath, 105 degrees to 110 degrees F.
This may be begun at a higher temperature, and gradually
lowered to the desired point (graduated sitz bath). It
should not at any time cause chillness, and rubbing is not
desirable. If necessary to give a sensation of warmth, a
fomentation or a wrapped spinal hot-water bottle may be
applied to the spine.
Effects: The prolonged cold sitz bath causes extreme and
lasting contraction of the pelvic blood vessels and of the
muscular wall of the uterus. It is therefore very useful in
3. Neutral Sitz Bath.
Temperature, 92 degrees to 97 degrees F. Foot bath, 102
degrees to 106 degrees F. Apply cold compresses to the
head. Time, twenty minutes to one or two hours.
4. Very Hot Sitz Bath.
Begin at a temperature of about 100 degrees F., and rapidly
increase to 106 degrees to 115 degrees F. Foot bath, 110
degrees to 120 degrees F. It should be kept at least two
degrees hotter than the temperature of the sitz bath. Keep
the head cool by cold cephalic and cervical compress.
Duration, three to eight minutes. At the close, cool the
bath to neutral for one to three minutes. If sweating has
been produced, pour cold water over the shoulders and the
chest. The hot sitz bath is used to relieve dysmenorrhea,
and pelvic pain from various other causes.
5. REVULSION SITZ BATH.
Begin at a temperature of 100 degrees F., and increase -
rapidly to 106 degrees to 115 degrees F. Foot bath, 110
degrees to 120 degrees F. Keep the head cool by cold
cephalic and cervical compresses. Duration, three to eight
minutes. Finish by a cold pail pour to the hips; temperature
of the water, 55 degrees to 65 degrees F.
Effects: The revulsive sitz bath produces a fluxion effect
in the surface and deep blood vessels. It is one of the most
useful measures in treating chronic inflammatory conditions
of the pelvic viscera, such as various forms of salpingitis,
6. ALTERNATE HOT AND COLD SITZ BATHS.
Provide two sitz tubs installed side by side. Fill one
with hot water at a temperature of 106 degrees to 115
degrees F., and the other with cold water at 55 degrees
to 85 degrees F. Foot baths, 105 degrees to 115 degrees F.
Apply cold compresses to the head and neck. The patient sits
in the hot water for two or three minutes then in the cold
for fifteen to twenty seconds, and again in the hot water.
Three complete changes from hot to cold are made, as is usual
in alternate treatments.
Effects: The alternate sitz baths produce powerful fluxion
effects in the pelvic viscera. It is useful in chronic
pelvic inflammations after the patient has become accustomed
to the revulsive sitz. It may also be used to great
advantage in atonic constipation.)