A sitz bath is a common form of hydrotherapy that may be used to relieve benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms. A sitz bath helps relax the smooth muscle in the prostate, easing the constriction of the urethra and bladder neck and increasing blood circulation to the pelvic region.
A sitz bath may involve hot or cold water or a combination of the two. The hot bath seems to be most useful for BPH. It involves soaking for 3 to 10 minutes in water that is about 105 degrees F to 115 degrees F, and then sponging the pelvic area with cool water. The cold bath involves sitting for 3 minutes in a tub of hot water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F) followed by 30 seconds in a second tub of cool water (55 degrees F to 85 degrees F). (The level of the hot water in the first tub should always be about 1 inch higher than the water level in the second tub.) Repeat this procedure three times. The last bath should always be with cool water.