Boric Acid for Vaginal Yeast Infection
Some experts now recommend boric acid capsules inserted into the vagina (vaginal suppositories) as a treatment option for vaginal yeast infections, particularly infections that can't be cured by antifungal yeast infection medicines.footnote 1 Boric acid is a white, crystalline chemical substance that has antifungal and antiviral properties.
If you are pregnant, do not use vaginal boric acid treatment.
You can make your own boric acid suppositories by filling size 0 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.footnote 1
How well does it work?
More research is needed to find out how well boric acid works. Symptoms return in some women. Check with your doctor to see if you need to continue using boric acid over several months to relieve your symptoms.footnote 2
How safe is it?
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.
- Eckert LO, Lentz GM (2012). Infections of the lower and upper genital tracts: Vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndromes, endometriosis, and salpingitis. In GM Lentz et al., eds., Comprehensive Gynecology, 6th ed., pp. 519–559. Philadelphia: Mosby.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. MMWR, 64(RR-03): 1–137. http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015. Accessed July 2, 2015. [Erratum in MMWR, 64(33): 924. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6433a9.htm?s_cid=mm6433a9_w. Accessed January 25, 2016.]
Current as of: October 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology