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Boric acid suppositories have been popping up on TikTok left and right. And if you’re someone who gets yeast infections from time to time or has dealt with bacterial vaginosis, you may be wondering whether or not this vaginal suppository can work for you.
Boric acid vaginal suppositories can be useful for some people when it comes to addressing those uncomfortable symptoms, like intense itching and irritation, associated with the conditions above. But experts share a few concerns about misusage.
To help you get a clearer picture on the purpose of this medication, we reached out to Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, FACOG, a board-certified gynecologist at DTLA Gynecology in Los Angeles, California. Ahead, a breakdown on exactly what this medication is, how to use boric acid suppositories, what you need to know about over-the-counter formulas, and potential dangers of boric acid suppositories.
What Are Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories?
According to Dr. Yamaguchi, a boric acid vaginal suppository is a medication that’s placed inside the vagina and comes in the solid form of capsules or pills. These medications are typically prescribed by doctors to treat chronic yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV) infections. “They are thought to correct the vaginal pH in order to facilitate proper balance of the normal bacteria in the vagina,” Dr. Yamaguchi said. It’s this pH correction that is thought to help treat yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. “The normal pH promotes growth of healthy vaginal flora and discourages growth of yeast and the bacteria associated with BV,” she further explained.
How to Use Boric Acid Suppositories
This is a medication made specifically for vaginal use and it’s typically advised to be taken at night, per the Cleveland Clinic. Be sure to read the package carefully for directions and insert the suppository with clean hands. When boric acid suppositories are put into the vagina, they then start to dissolve. However, Dr. Yamaguchi said they can take some time to do so. She also warns that vaginal medications, like boric acid suppositories, can come out of the vagina during treatment and recommends her patients use panty liners at night to avoid leakage.
Boric Acid Suppository Side Effects
Boric acid suppositories are generally well tolerated. But certain side effects are worth flagging to your healthcare provider. If you experience any type of allergic reaction (skin rash, hives, itching) or vaginal irritation, redness, or burning, you should speak up and let your doctor know, the Cleveland Clinic reports. Vaginal discharge, on the other hand, is a common side effect and does not typically need to be flagged.
Dangers of Boric Acid Suppositories
It’s incredibly important to note that these medications are only for vaginal use. “Boric acid is toxic if taken orally and its action is topical, so it should NEVER be taken orally,” Dr. Yamaguchi stressed. In addition to damaging the esophagus and stomach, swallowing a boric acid suppository can also result in death in extreme cases, according to Mount Sinai.
In terms of choosing the best boric acid suppository, Dr. Yamaguchi warns that there isn’t strict regulation on over-the-counter products. So, to ensure good quality and regulation, she recommends boric acid suppositories made by compounding pharmacies, which are pharmacies that make the medication to order for the specific individual based on a doctor’s prescription. If you prefer to shop OTC, you can also run the brand by your healthcare provider and pharmacist before grabbing it off the shelves.
— Additional reporting by Alexis Jones