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Boric Acid for Vaginal Yeast Infection


Topic Overview

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. Some 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 medicines.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 (about 600 mg). Standard yeast infection treatment is one capsule inserted in the vagina at bedtime for 7 days. For treatment of recurring yeast infections, standard yeast infection treatment is done for two weeks, and then boric acid can be used twice a week for 6 months to 1 year.1

Is it effective?

More research is needed to find out how well boric acid works. Some studies have shown it cures up to 98 out of 100 women. But symptoms may return in some women, so maintenance treatment over several months will be needed.2

Is it safe?

When used in capsules as a vaginal suppository, boric acid is only known to sometimes cause skin irritation. But 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.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Eschenbach DA (2008). Vaginitis section of Pelvic infections and sexually transmitted diseases. In RS Gibbs et al., eds., Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., pp. 608–612. 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.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDeborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedJuly 27, 2011

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