Nearly three of every four women, according to Penn State University at Hershey, will suffer from a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lives. The term "yeast infection" is a condition in which yeasts normally present on the body multiply abnormally, becoming overgrown.
Doctors usually prescribe antifungal medications to treat vaginal yeast infections them. Boric acid is an inexpensive alternative treatment that is effective against the candida fungus, which is responsible for vaginal yeast infections.
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A 2008 study at Iran's Mashad University of Medical Sciences compared the effectiveness of boric acid and the antifungal medication clotrimazole in treating 90 women with vaginal yeast infections.
The women received either 300 mg boric acid vaginal suppositories twice a day or 100 mg of clotrimazole once a day for two weeks. The researchers found that boric acid was effective in 86.7 per cent of the women using it, compared to 60 per cent effectiveness for the clotrimazole.
Preparing Boric Acid Suppositories
A white crystalline powder, boric acid is available without a prescription at most pharmacies. To make boric acid suppositories, insert the powder into empty 00 gelatin capsules. Each of these, says Blue Shield of California, will hold about 600 mg of boric acid to release as they dissolve.
Empty capsules and capsule-making machines are available at online sites including Cap-M-Quik.com.
Using Boric Acid
According to Blue Shield, the standard boric acid treatment of vaginal yeast infections is to insert one suppository into the vagina at bedtime for 14 days.
If your symptoms subside after using boric acid only to return within the next 30 days, you should start a long-term program, using the suppositories two times a week for six months to a year.
Used correctly as a vaginal suppository, boric acid has proven very safe according to S.M. Prutting and J.D. Cerveny of the Medical College of South Carolina.
Side effects include a mild burning sensation, inflammation and watery discharge. Although boric acid is extremely toxic if swallowed, you have minimal risk of toxicity using it as a vaginal suppository.
There have been no reports of boric acid interacting with other drugs.
Using Boric Acid During Pregnancy
The University of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children says that unless a woman's vaginal tissue is severely abraded, the amount of boric acid she's likely to absorb from a suppository is minimal. Any danger to her foetus is theoretical. However, Blue Shield of California states on its website: "If you are pregnant, do not use vaginal boric acid treatment," and "Boric acid is not safe to use if you are pregnant."
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- Penn State Hershey Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- N. Khadem, A.Gh. Sajadi Tabassi1, N, Ghomian, F. Eftekharzadeh; Comparison of Boric Acid with Clotrimazole in the Treatment of Recurrent or Resistant Vulvovaginitis Caused by Non-Albicans Species of Candida; Iran J Med Sci December 2008; Vol 33 No 4 229
- Blue Shield of California