A sitz bath is a different type water treatment or hydrotherapy, where just the hips and buttocks are in the water. Whereas a hot and cold shower assists the general circulation, a sitz bath is focused on the pelvic organs. It encourages circulation of blood and oxygen to the womb and other associated areas, and can relieve any congestion or stagnation in the lower abdominal area. Hot or cold water can be used; this will depend on the particular problem you are trying to address. Sitz baths can be very useful for aiding fertility and relieving endometriosis, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), hip problems, sciatica, congestion of the lower bowel and so on. Your belly button is a good guide for the level of water when you are in the bath and you may need to adjust water levels. It is particularly important to not go above this level when using cool or cold water in a sitz bath as the kidneys should never be chilled.
With a cold bath, where it may be difficult to stay in the water for any length of time, shout or scream, as this will relieve the shock and numbing effect of the cold water. Wear a jumper and socks and ensure that the bathroom does not become cold. Begin by staying in the water for one minute and progress to five minutes as you get used to it. Also with a cold bath, do not let the feet enter the water. Lower your bottom half into the water over the side of the bath and when in the water swing both of your legs over the side of the bath and cover with a towel. If you do not feel flexible enough for this then use a baby bath that is stable on the floor.
Sometimes warm water is better than cold so be guided by your practitioner and common sense.
It is very important that you warm up quickly after a cold sitz bath. Placing a hot water bottle over the area, going for a run or sitting near a fire are all good methods.