- How It Works
- Vaginal Infections
- When to Avoid
- How to Use
- Side Effects
- Other Uses
Boric acid has mild to moderate antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties, meaning that it may help treat vaginal infections.
A healthy vagina has a pH of about 4. Yeast infections or vaginal diseases such as vaginosis can change the pH of the vagina and can lead to an overgrowth of dangerous organisms. When this occurs, boric acid may help relieve symptoms.
While there are several over-the-counter and prescription medications that can treat vaginal infections, sometimes the infection may keep coming back even after treatment. When used together with other treatments, natural remedies such as boric acid may help prevent the infection from recurring.
How does boric acid help treat vaginal infections?
Boric acid has antibacterial and antifungal properties and contains probiotics and vitamins C and E. As such, it helps restore normal vaginal acidity and vaginal flora balance and can be used to treat vaginal yeast infection symptoms such as burning, itching and odor.
According to several studies, boric acid was effective in eradicating yeast infections in 40%-100% of cases. Treatment is thought to be relatively safe, with only minor, temporary side effects. It is also a less expensive option than more traditional treatments.
Studies have also shown that boric acid can effectively suppress the growth of Trichomonas, another fairly common vaginal infection. If your trichomoniasis infection hasn't responded to traditional treatment, boric acid treatment may be considered after discussing it with your doctor.
While there is not enough clinical evidence to support the claim that boric acid is effective in treating bacterial vaginosis, boric acid can restore the natural pH and flora of the vagina, and therefore help keep the vagina healthy.
What are common vaginal infections?
The two most common vaginal infections include:
Vaginal yeast infection
A fungal infection of the vaginal entrance and surrounding tissues caused by Candida. Antibiotics and pregnancy can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the vaginal canal, allowing yeast to flourish. Yeast thrives in the vagina, as it provides a moist and warm environment to grow. Signs and symptoms of vaginal candidiasis include:
- Intense itching in and around the vaginal area
- Swelling, burning, and redness
- Pain when urinating and having sex
- Soreness in the genital area
- Thick, white discharge that has a cottony texture but a normal odor
Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
During the reproductive years, BV is the most common cause of vaginal infection and discharge. When there is more harmful bacteria than healthy bacteria in the vaginal area, it leads to an imbalance in the flora. BV arises when Lactobacillus bacteria, which are present normally in the vaginal canal, are disrupted by an overgrowth of other harmful bacteria. Although there is no definitive cause, there are a few contributing factors such as having multiple sexual partners, using an intrauterine device, and not practicing safe sex. Signs and symptoms may include
- Fishy smell from the vaginal area
- White or grey vaginal discharge (might be watery or frothy in texture)
- Itching and/or discomfort in the vaginal area
- Burning sensation when urinating
When should you not use vaginal boric acid?
Avoid using boric acid if you have the following conditions:
- Soreness or tenderness in your pelvic region
- High blood pressure
- Inflammatory diseases of the abdomen or pelvis
- Vaginal bleeding
- Signs of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI)
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding (effects during pregnancy or on the child are unclear)
- Fever or chills
- Vascular disease
What is the best way to use vaginal boric acid?
Concentrated boric acid should be used vaginally and never orally.
For mild infections, 1 capsule may be inserted vaginally once a day for 3 consecutive days. For chronic infections, 1 capsule may be inserted vaginally once a day for 6 consecutive days. However, you should consult a doctor regarding dosage.
What are the risks associated with using boric acid?
Common side effects of using boric acid for vaginal infections include:
- Watery vaginal discharge
- Redness and/or mild burning sensation
- Gritty sensation in the vagina
- Persistent feeling of wetness in the vagina
If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using boric acid and consult a doctor:
- New or worsening symptoms
- Intense burning sensation
- Symptoms that recur
- Allergic reaction
What are the other uses of boric acid?
Other uses of boric acid include:
- Diaper rash, insect bites and stings, and sun-related burns
- Swimmer's ear
- Eye infections
- Minor wounds such as cuts and burns
- Foot odor
- Fungal infections such as athlete's foot and toenail fungus
- Cold sores
- Food preservative
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