Does Boric Acid Work For Yeast Infection?

Pills Spilling from Bottle
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key Takeaways

  • Boric acid is a naturally occurring chemical in minerals available medically for consistent or recurrent yeast infections.
  • It is used as an ophthalmic solution (In eyes) and gelatin suppository (rectal capsule).
  • It is generally prescribed for recurrent vaginal yeast infection when no other antiviral medication work.
  • If your doctor recommends boric acid treatment, you can buy boric acid vaginal capsules without a prescription at drug stores.

Overview

Boric acid, a naturally occurring compound, is generally prescribed as a rectal suppository for treating vaginal yeast infections. Its functions as pH restoration and fungal infection eradication. Though not a primary choice, boric acid is both safe and effective under healthcare provider consultation. Treatment duration depends on the infection severity. Precautions include avoiding excessive use, not using during pregnancy, and maintaining proper hygiene.

Boric acid provides an alternative when other treatments fail for yeast infection, but its use requires prescription and medical consultation

What is boric acid?

Boric acid, also called orthoboric acid, is a naturally occurring yet chemical compound in many minerals and is commonly used for various purposes, including as an antiseptic, insecticide, ophthalmic anti-infectives, and persistent yeast infections.

It’s not commonly used for medical purposes as the first choice of drug for any infection. Still, in case of persistent or chronic disease from candida yeast species (Candida glabrata), it is used as a suppository (Pills taken rectally).

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How to use boric for vaginal yeast infection?

Boric acid is used as rectal suppositories in the form of soft gelatin capsules (Up and Away). Gelatin capsules are heat-sensitive capsules that release their active ingredient to cure yeast infection in the vagina or rectum where it is administered.

Vaginal yeast infections are the most common yeast infection for which boric acid is prescribed and used. A typical dosing regimen might involve using a boric acid suppository once daily, usually at bedtime, for a certain period.

Caution: It’s good to seek medical attention for dose and dosing interval (frequency) for boric acid when used for vaginal yeast infection to avoid overdose and side effects.

How does boric acid treat a yeast infection?

Boric acid treats yeast infections in the vagina by changing the overall environment and PH of the vagina, making it difficult for yeast species to grow and replicate.

  1. Balancing pH: Boric acid is slightly acidic, like the vagina. But when yeast infections are stubborn, the vagina’s pH can become too basic, which is suitable for candida species. Boric acid’s slight acidity helps restore the pH, making it harder for the fungus to grow.
  2. Fighting Fungus: Boric acid can directly fight against the Candida fungus. Putting boric acid in the vagina can help control the fungus and ease infection symptoms.
  3. Breaking Biofilms: Sometimes Candida forms protective layers called biofilms that resist treatment. Boric acid can break down these biofilms, making the fungus easier to treat.
  4. When Other Treatments Don’t Work: Boric acid is often used when regular antifungal treatments don’t do the trick or if there’s worry about becoming resistant to other antifungal drugs.

Is boric acid safe to use?

As per the new research studies, boric acid is safe to use, ideally for vaginal yeast infections if the other medications don’t work out. It’s important to note that boric acid, whether in a vaginal suppository or ophthalmic solution for eye infections, is good to take guidance and consultation from a healthcare provider as changes in doses or dosage forms for different disorders might come with other adverse effects.

How long does boric acid take to cure a yeast infection?

Clinicians used Intravaginal Boric Acid Maintenance Therapy for Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis and Bacterial Vaginosis for 13 months and found it perfectly effective, with high patient satisfaction and low adverse effects.

Curing yeast infection greatly depends on the severity as well. The more severe and concurrent infection will affect the treatment time, dose, and dosage regimen.

When should you not use boric acid?

The main precaution that should be observed in the case of boric acid is it should not be taken in higher doses for a longer time, as its overdose will come with effects like severe allergic reactions or skin irritation in the infected areas. Some other considerations are

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant

It’s good to discuss with your healthcare provider about your pregnancy, breastfeeding, or if you plan to get pregnant because the doses of boric acid might affect the fetus.

Known allergies

If there is awareness or suspicion of an allergy to boric acid, its usage should be avoided.

Children

Using boric acid in or around the genital region of children is not recommended. It’s good to seek immediate medical attention for yeast infections in children.

Kidney or liver impairment

Individuals with kidney or liver impairments may have difficulty processing boric acid, potentially increasing the risk of toxic effects.

Unsupervised or prolonged use

Employing boric acid over an extended duration or without medical supervision could result in complications or adverse reactions. Usage should strictly adhere to healthcare provider guidelines.

Severe adverse reactions

In instances of intense irritation, burning sensations, or notable adverse reactions while using boric acid, discontinuing its use and seeking guidance from a healthcare professional is recommended.

Effective alternative treatment

If existing treatments for managing your yeast infection, as advised by a healthcare provider, are proving effective, introducing boric acid might be unnecessary. Only a healthcare provider can consult about the need for Boric acid if the other treatment regimens are failing.

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What not to do after inserting boric acid?

Avoid having sexual intercourse in case of vaginal yeast infection if you are getting the boric acid treatment. It’s good to totally avoid any unnecessary vaginal activity until you are fully cured.

Avoid keeping the vaginal area moist always, as it can manifest more infections other than yeast infections.

Try your best to keep the vaginal area clean and dry. Washing hands and drying them before inserting vaginal boric acid capsules is an essential part of the healing process altogether. Dirty hands can manifest germs that might lead to different severe conditions.

FAQs About Boric Acid

Do doctors recommend boric acid for yeast infections?

Yes, Boric acid can be recommended as the drug of choice for yeast infections, and it will be available to you over the counter. The healthcare provider will prescribe it after the other drugs won’t work out for the yeast vaginal infections.

Why am I getting recurrent yeast infections?

It’s probably because the medications you previously took for the yeast infection didn’t properly cure the yeast infection, letting the yeast candida species stay in the vaginal cavity, leading to the recurrent yeast infection.

Is it safe to use boric acid suppositories every day?

It’s only safe if it’s prescribed. You need to consult your healthcare provider before adjusting the dose for yourself. Generally, it is prescribed once daily for several months (3 to 6 months) to eradicate the yeast.

Can I take fluconazole and boric acid together?

Yes, but only if a health care provider prescribes it, as both are anti-fungal medications used to treat yeast infections. Fluconazole is prescribed before any other medicines. Boric acid is prescribed as an alternative if no other medication works. Combining them both can only be decided by the health care provider.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Iavazzo C, Gkegkes ID, Zarkada IM, Falagas ME. Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Aug;20(8):1245-55. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2708. Epub 2011 Jul 20. PMID: 21774671.
  • Zeron Mullins M, Trouton KM. BASIC study: is intravaginal boric acid non-inferior to metronidazole in symptomatic bacterial vaginosis? Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015 Jul 26;16:315. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-0852-5. PMID: 26210791; PMCID: PMC4514959.
  • Everyday Health. Boric Acid Suppositories: Why Doctors Advise Against Use for Vaginal Odor or Discomfort
  • Zeron Mullins, M., Trouton, K.M. BASIC study: is intravaginal boric acid non-inferior to metronidazole in symptomatic bacterial vaginosis? Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 16, 315 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-015-0852-5
  • Christos Iavazzo, Ioannis D. Gkegkes, Ioanna M. Zarkada, and Matthew E. Falagas. Boric Acid for Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: The Clinical Evidence.
    Journal of Women’s Health.Aug 2011.1245-1255.https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2010.2708
  • Brittingham, Andrew PhD*; Wilson, Wayne A. PhD†. The Antimicrobial Effect of Boric Acid on Trichomonas vaginalis. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 41(12):p 718-722, December 2014. | DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000203
  • Powell, Anna MD, MS∗; Ghanem, Khalil G. MD, PhD†; Rogers, Linda CRNP∗; Zinalabedini, Ashley MS, CRNP∗; Brotman, Rebecca M. PhD‡; Zenilman, Jonathan MD†; Tuddenham, Susan MD, MPH†. Clinicians’ Use of Intravaginal Boric Acid Maintenance Therapy for Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis and Bacterial Vaginosis. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 46(12):p 810-812, December 2019. | DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001063

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