What Is Boric Acid?
Boric acid is also called boracic acid or hydrogen borate, which is present in the form of white powder or crystalline salt. It is a weak acid that acts as a strong antiviral and antifungal agent. It is used as an antiseptic to treat minor cuts, wounds, acne, or burns. In the ancient days, it was used for purposes like cleaning and preserving food. It also helps in maintaining the pH balance in the vagina.
What Vaginal Infections Can Be Treated With Boric Acid?
Boric acid is used as a second line of treatment in the following vaginal infections:
What Is the Role of Boric Acid in Vaginal Yeast Infections?
Our human body naturally contains yeast on the surface of the skin, throat, mouth, and vagina. In the case of hormonal changes during pregnancy or in immunocompromised patients, when the amount of yeast present exceeds the normal amount, yeast infection results. Yeast infections in the vagina are called candidiasis and are caused by Candida albicans or Candida glabrata. Boric acid is useful for treating vaginal infections by hampering the natural life cycle of the yeast and restricting the growth of yeast, thereby making it less infectious. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends boric acid as a second line of treatment for vaginal yeast infection when antifungal medications are of no help.
What Is the Role of Boric Acid in Bacterial Vaginosis?
Imbalance in the vaginal bacteria such as Fusobacterium, Bacteroides, and Gardnerella results in bacterial vaginosis. It is manifested by the presence of white or gray discharge from the vagina along with an unpleasant fishy odor. Boric acid is used as an alternative for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
What Is the Role of Boric Acid in Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by Trichomonas vaginalis characterized by a foul-smelling greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge, pain during sexual activity and urination, and itchiness in the genitals. Although the effectiveness of boric acid in trichomoniasis is not fully studied, it has been found to be beneficial in trichomoniasis.
What Does Research Say About the Use of Boric Acid?
Research says that using boric acid for treating vaginal infections is a reliable and economical treatment option. In cases where conventional antifungal medications are not effective, boric acid is used for treating yeast infections of the vagina. The use of vaginal boric acid suppositories for two weeks or three weeks has similar treatment outcomes.
How to Use Boric Acid for Vaginal Infection?
Boric acid suppositories are available, which should not be taken orally and are to be inserted into the vagina. Unless and otherwise specified by the treating physician, it is always advisable to use it before bedtime. It is recommended because it reduces the spillage of the medicine. Boric acid suppositories are available in the form of solid and oval-shaped capsules, which turn into liquid at body temperature. Each capsule contains about 600 mg of boric acid. These are to be used once daily for two weeks. Ensure to clean your hands before placing the vaginal suppository to prevent the entry of bacteria.
Follow the below steps to place the suppository into the vagina:
First, fill in the applicator.
Lie down on the back and bend your knees or stand by keeping one leg on the chair.
Place the applicator softly into the vagina.
Release the capsule by pressing the plunger.
Softly remove the applicator.
What Are the Common Brands of Boric Acid Suppositories?
What Are the Side Effects of Using Boric Acid?
Discontinue using the suppository if you feel discomfort and even after that, if you have persistent symptoms, call your healthcare professional.
When Should I Not Use Boric Acid?
Inform your healthcare provider if you have any of the following conditions because taking boric acid is not recommended in these conditions.
Disorders of blood vessels.
Pelvic inflammatory disease.
Sexually transmitted infection.
HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Allergic to boric acid or preservatives used in it.
Trying to conceive.
Immune system disorders.
Open wound or scrape in the vagina.
Using boric acid while you are pregnant is not safe for the fetus, as the ingredients in the boric acid suppository are toxic to the developing fetus.
If you are in your menstrual cycle and are using a boric acid suppository, then use sanitary napkins. While using boric acid, do not use tampons because they can absorb the medicine.
What Are the Drugs That Interfere With Boric Acid?
Vaginal boric acid suppositories interfere with the following drugs:
It is advisable to inform your doctor if you are taking any of these drugs. In addition to this, several other drugs, vitamin supplements, herbal supplements, etc., also might interfere with the action of boric acid. Therefore, let your doctor know about any drugs you are taking before starting a vaginal boric acid suppository.
What Should I Do After Missing a Dose of Boric Acid Suppository?
If you have missed a dose, use it as soon as you remember it. Or, if it is time for the next dose, skip the previous dose. Do not overload yourself by taking two doses at a time.
What Happens if You Take Boric Acid Suppository Orally?
Although rare, if boric acid is taken orally, it can be fatal, and so it should be only used as a vaginal suppository. Overdose of vaginal boric acid suppository does not usually cause serious complications.
Can I Have Sexual Intercourse With a Boric Acid Suppository?
Restrain yourself from sexual activity when you have a vaginal infection. Although boric acid suppository can treat vaginal infection, it cannot prevent the spread of vaginal infection to the partner. The vaginal boric acid suppository cannot prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
Also, boric acid does not give any protection from conception. Do not engage in any sexual intercourse while using boric acid as it can cause damage to the condoms or might interfere with the function of diaphragms. In addition, it also decreases the action of vaginal spermicides. These might increase the risk of conceiving.
How Should I Store Boric Acid Before Using It?
Do store the boric acid suppository away from sunlight in a dry place at a temperature between 15 to 30 degrees Celsius. Keep it away from the reach of children. Do not use the suppository past the expiration date. If it has crossed the expiry date, do not use it and discard it.
Boric acid can be used as an alternative to antifungals in treating vaginal infection and discharge. However, it does not offer any kind of protection against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions