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Dr. Alpana Mohta Ranka, MD, DNB, IFAAD, is a triple-board-certified dermatologist with over 100 research publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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Boric Acid for Vaginal Yeast Infection: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: 5 days ago

I'm Dr. Alpana, a board-certified dermatologist and venereologist. In this article, I will be discussing a crucial health issue that affects at least two out of three women in their lifetime: vaginal infections.


In this article, we’ll delve into how boric acid can be an effective treatment for vaginal yeast infections.


If you're interested in a video version of this article, you can watch that here.




Understanding Vaginal Infections

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection seen in women aged 15 to 44. It’s caused by an imbalance in the normal bacteria of the vagina. Typically, the vagina maintains an acidic pH with the growth of beneficial bacteria called lactobacilli. However, when the pH rises, it leads to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, such as Gardnerella vaginalis.

Causes of BV:

  • Use of feminine hygiene products

  • Vaginal douching

  • Hormonal changes (pregnancy, lactation, oral contraceptives)

  • Unprotected intercourse with multiple partners


Symptoms of BV:

  • Thin, yellowish-white or gray discharge with a fishy odor

  • Vaginal burning, irritation, and redness

  • Sometimes, no symptoms at all

Vulvovaginal Candidiasis

Vulvovaginal candidiasis is the second most common vaginal infection, caused by the yeast fungus Candida albicans. Normally, this fungus is controlled by the body’s immune system, but factors like uncontrolled diabetes, steroid use, reduced immunity, or frequent antibiotic use can cause overgrowth.


Symptoms of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis:

  • Intense itching, burning, and redness of the vaginal area

  • Odorless, thick, curd-like discharge

Conventional Treatments

Treatment for both infections typically involves topical and oral drugs:

  • BV: Antibiotics

  • Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: Antifungals

However, repeated use of these drugs can lead to resistance. This is where boric acid comes in as an effective alternative.

Boric Acid for Vaginal Yeast Infection

Boric acid has been used for over a century to treat vaginal infections. Available over the counter in the form of vaginal suppositories or sprays, boric acid offers several benefits over conventional treatments.


Benefits of Boric Acid:

  • No risk of drug resistance

  • Clinically proven antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties

  • Targets microorganisms missed by antibiotics and antifungals

  • Restores the natural acidic pH of the vagina

  • Promotes the growth of beneficial lactobacilli

How to Use Boric Acid:

  • Suppositories or Spray: Boric acid suppositories or vaginal sprays can resolve recurrent infections within 7 to 14 days.

  • Ease of Application: Boric acid sprays are particularly popular for their convenience and mess-free application.

Safety and Precautions

While boric acid is generally safe for use, it’s important to follow certain precautions:

  • Consult Your Doctor: Always consult with your dermatologist or OBGYN before use. They may need to assess your condition and perform tests for a proper diagnosis.

  • Avoid If Pregnant or Breastfeeding: Do not use boric acid if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have open cuts or sores in the vaginal area.

  • Age Restrictions: Boric acid is only approved for individuals over the age of 14. It is not advisable for people under 12 years.

  • Avoid Ingestion: Never swallow boric acid as it is toxic when ingested.

  • Storage: Store boric acid in a cool, dark place.

Possible Side Effects:

  • Some users may experience burning or irritation. If symptoms become unbearable, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Conclusion

Boric acid is a potent and reliable treatment for vaginal yeast infections, offering an alternative to conventional antibiotics and antifungals. Always use boric acid under the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.

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