How to Use a Sitz Bath for Prostatitis
If you're suffering from Prostatitis, it can be one of the most painful and embarrassing things you could possibly deal with. While some forms of prostatitis may be so severe and chronic that they require surgery to fix, most cases may only require antibiotics and many may not even require those. It all depends on what caused your prostatitis to begin with, as well as how badly it's become or how far the infection has spread (when it's caused by bacteria). Many things can cause this condition, such as cycling or sitting too often or various types of internal infections. You should always see a doctor if you're having symptoms of prostatitis, but in many cases they may just send you home and tell you to use a sitz bath if they don't feel you have a bad infection or if it's not bacterial. This is assuming that you don't already have a bathtub, as sitz baths are mostly only beneficial to people who only have stand-up showers. If you have a regular bath tub, then you don't really need to use a sitz bath and can use the regular tub instead. So while you should definitely consult a doctor, it may not hurt if you try to cure your prostatitis first on your own. I've suffered from a few cases of prostatitis, and one of them was very severe and required antibiotics after the infection had spread down to my legs. But there were two other times where I treated it myself by abstaining from sex for a few days and by using a sitz bath as well. So if you should decide that you want to give it a try, here's a few instructions on how to use one.
Buy Your Bath
First you'll need to purchase your sitz bath by either visiting a local pharmacy such as Walgreens or CVS, or by purchasing it online. For some men, it may be embarrassing for them to walk into a pharmacy and purchase one, because they box is quite large and they can be pretty obvious. Also, while most pharmacies do carry sitz baths, there's definitely some out there that don't. So if you should choose to purchase online for either of these reasons, you should make sure that the shipping is quick. Prostatitis is not something that's going to wait until it arrives before it starts causing you pain. The usual retail price for a sitz bath, whether in a pharmacy or on the internet, is between $12 and $20. Sometimes they may be as expensive as $25, but the average price range is around $14.99. There will usually be instructions inside on how to use it and which end is the front end and vice versa.
Fill With Epsom Salt
After you buy the bath, you will need to get some Epsom Salt. Epsom Salt is a special type of salt that comes from Epsom, England, and it's basically a combination of the minerals magnesium and sulfate. Once you're ready to take your bath at home, you should first fill it up a little with some of the epsom salt. How much you use doesn't matter, because you can't really use too much of it. But on the other hand, you should probably make sure you use more than 2 cups, as too little may not be very effective. Epsom Salt is beneficial for prostatitis, because the prostate contains muscles, and this particular type of salt helps to relax those muscles which leads to quicker healing. It also helps to relieve pain very quickly, so in addition to helping you heal faster over time, it will also help get rid of some of your aches almost instantly.
Fill With Hot Water
After you put the Epsom salt in the bath, you'll need to fill it up with water. You should make sure the water is very hot, but not so hot that you burn your skin with it. Fill the bath up as much as you can with the hottest water you think you can stand. Remember, your fingers may have tougher skin around them than the skin in your groin and buttocks regions. So even if you test the temperature of the water with your finger first, you should still be very careful when sitting down in the sitz bath, and take things very slowly and gradually relax yourself on to it.
Sit On It
You should sit in it for 20 to 30 minutes at a time and try to relax while doing it. It's best to do whatever you have to do to get your mind off of stressful things, so your muscles can relax and the water and salt can be more effective. To do this, you can watch TV if it's convenient, listen to music using headphones, or read a light-hearted book (no Stephen King). 30 minutes a day is probably enough time to get the healing process moving in the fast lane, but if you decide to sit in the bath longer, you should change the water after about 20 or 30 minutes. Make sure the water remains hot, so you can get the full benefits of it and relax as it slowly cures you each time you use it.
When You're Not Using It
Whenever you're not using your sitz bath, you should be very careful about things you're doing so you can heal faster and prevent further injury to your prostate. You should drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet. Eating healthy, such as cutting out fried foods and red meat, can help boost your immune system and speed up the healing process. Exercise is probably not a good idea, because the last thing you want to do is to strain yourself and put pressure on your body and muscles (there are sections of the prostate that are made of muscle). You should definitely steer clear of doing any activities like cycling, as that would be a recipe for disaster. There's a reason why so many professional bicycle riders get prostatitis from time to time. Lastly, you should try to stand up as much as possible to allow oxygen to flow to the area and allow yourself to heal more quickly. Sitting down for long periods of time, even in bed, can be bad for the healing process. If you're in pain, you can try drinking a glass of water with a few teaspoons of baking soda stirred in it. This has proven to help some people alleviate pain and feel better, though it really won't help much when it comes to overall healing.
Only Time Will Tell
If you don't start to feel an improvement in your condition within 2 to 3 days, then taking sitz baths probably won't be very effective for your form of prostatitis, and you may want to visit the doctor again if you haven't already seen one. These types of baths can be very effective, even for people with mild bacterial infections in the prostate, since it helps the blood circulate and the body can sometimes fight infections on it's own. However, a prescription for antibiotics may be the best medicine for your particular condition if you don't feel like the baths are working for you or if you have a severe infection that would require them.
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