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Can you use boric acid for vaginal dryness?

Boric acid is used as a treatment for certain vaginal infections. But is it safe to use boric acid for vaginal dryness?
View All Images Representation of the reproductive system with flowers
Boric acid is often used to treat yeast infection. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 7 Mar 2024, 19:30 pm IST
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Vaginal infections can affect women irrespective of their age. These can often be accompanied by a burning sensation or itching down there. Women may also find it painful while peeing or engaging in a sexual activity. There are many treatments, and coconut oil is a popular home remedy for vaginal dryness. Some believe boric acid may help to treat vaginal dryness. Boric acid suppositories are often recommended by doctors to treat yeast infections. But can boric acid be used to treat vaginal dryness?

What are boric acid suppositories?

Boric acid suppositories are vaginal suppositories that contain boric acid as the active ingredient, says gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Pratibha Singhal. They are commonly used as a treatment for certain vaginal infections, particularly recurrent yeast infections (vulvovaginal candidiasis) or bacterial vaginosis. Boric acid is a mild antiseptic and antifungal agent that can help restore the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina. Boric acid can restrict the growth of
Candida albicans and Candida glabrata fungi that cause yeast infections, according to a 2017 research published in the Mycopathologia journal.

Female reproductive system concept with a grapefruit
Boric acid should not be used to treat vaginal dryness. Image courtesy: Freepik

The suppositories are typically inserted into the vagina using an applicator and left in place for a specified period, usually overnight. This lets the boric acid to exert its therapeutic effects.

Can boric acid be used to treat vaginal dryness?

Vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy is a common condition characterised by a lack of moisture and lubrication in the vaginal tissues, explains the expert. It can be caused by various factors, including breastfeeding and hormonal changes during menopause, breastfeeding. There is no evidence to suggest that boric acid can effectively address the underlying causes of vaginal dryness or provide long-term relief of symptoms. Consult a doctor who can help identify the underlying causes of vaginal dryness, and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include vaginal moisturisers or lubricants.

How does boric acid help with vaginal infections?

Boric acid suppositories can help with vaginal infections in the following ways:

1. Antifungal properties

Boric acid has mild antifungal properties, meaning it can inhibit the growth of yeast, including Candida species. By reducing the overgrowth of yeast in the vagina, boric acid suppositories can help alleviate symptoms associated with yeast infections, such as itching, burning, and abnormal discharge, says Dr Singhal.

2. Antiseptic action

Boric acid acts as an antiseptic, helping to create an environment in the vagina that is less conducive to the growth of harmful bacteria or yeast. By altering the pH balance of the vagina, boric acid can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, helping to restore the natural balance of the vaginal microbiome.

3. Restoration of vaginal pH

The normal pH (Potential of Hydrogen) of the vagina is slightly acidic, typically ranging from 3.8 to 4.5. Disruptions to the vaginal pH balance, such as changes in hormonal levels or exposure to certain irritants, can contribute to the development of vaginal infections. Boric acid suppositories can help restore the acidic pH of the vagina, creating an environment that is less hospitable to the growth of pathogens.

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Who should avoid using boric acid suppositories?

Boric acid suppositories may not be suitable for everyone, and certain women should exercise caution. Here are some considerations:

1. Pregnancy

Pregnant women should avoid using boric acid suppositories, as boric acid may be harmful to the developing fetus if absorbed systemically, says the expert. Expecting moms experiencing vaginal infections should consult with their doctor for safe and effective treatment options.

2. Breastfeeding

Boric acid can be absorbed into the bloodstream and may pass into breast milk. This may potentially affect the baby, using boric acid during breastfeeding is a big no.

3. Allergy

Women with a known allergy or sensitivity to boric acid or any other ingredients in the suppository should avoid using them. Allergic reactions to boric acid may include skin irritation, rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

4. Vaginal irritation

Women with vaginal irritation, inflammation, open sores, or recent vaginal surgery should avoid using boric acid suppositories until the area gets healed. Using suppositories in these circumstances may exacerbate the symptoms or delay healing.

Woman holding a pill
Boric acid suppositories may react with medications. Image courtesy: Freepik

Boric acid suppositories may also interact with certain medications like oral antifungal medications. Boric acid suppositories are sometimes used along with oral antifungal medications like fluconazole to treat recurrent yeast infections, says the expert. Using both treatments simultaneously may increase the risk of boric acid toxicity, as the combined effects of oral and vaginal antifungal agents can lead to elevated levels of boric acid in the body.

Boric acid suppositories should only be used under the guidance and supervision of a doctor, as improper use or overuse can lead to irritation and burning.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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