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.
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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.
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.
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):
Primary Medical Reviewer
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
July 27, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 27, 2011
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