Boric acid for vaginal yeast infection

Boric acid is a white, crystalline chemical substance that has antifungal and antiviral properties. It is used in various prescription pharmaceutical products and is also available without a prescription. Experts now recommend vaginal boric acid capsules as a treatment option for vaginal yeast infections, particularly infections that can't be cured by antifungal yeast infection medications.1

If you are pregnant, do not use vaginal boric acid treatment.

How do I use boric acid?

You can make your own boric acid suppositories by filling size 00 gelatin capsules with boric acid (approximately 600 mg). Standard yeast infection treatment is one capsule inserted in the vagina at bedtime for 2 weeks. For maintenance treatment of a recurrent infection, boric acid can be used twice a week for 6 months to 1 year.1, 2

Is it effective?

When used to treat vaginal yeast infections that haven't been cured by antifungal medications (such as Monistat or Diflucan), boric acid cures up to 98% of women. After 30 days, symptoms return in some women, making it necessary to use maintenance treatment over several months.2

Is it safe?

When used in capsules as a vaginal suppository, boric acid is only known to occasionally cause skin irritation. However, when used by mouth (internally), on open wounds, or by children, boric acid is toxic. Keep boric acid out of the reach of children. Boric acid is not safe to use if you are pregnant.

Citations

  1. Eschenbach DA (2003). Vaginitis section of Pelvic infections and sexually transmitted diseases. In JR Scott et al., eds., Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology, 9th ed., pp. 585–589. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
  2. Kessel KV, et al. (2003). Common complementary and alternative therapies for yeast vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis: A systematic review. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, 58(5): 351–358.

Last Updated: June 17, 2008

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