12:35 pm - 02/13/2005

The Wonders of Boric Acid for Yeast Infections and Bacterial Vaginosis

I get frequent questions about the specifics of boric acid use so I finally got off my ass and typed it up in post format for all to see!

Where do I find it? How much does it cost? What else do I need to make my own pills?

I've always been able to find boric acid powder in pharmacies in the US. (Another vp member made a more elaborate post about her quest for boric acid here.) It's usually in an 8 ounce bottle, and can often be found around the other "home remedies" section (like in with the hydrogen peroxide etc). You want to get a concentration of 2% or less for vaginal use (the stuff that they sell as cockroach killer isn't what you're looking for). If you have any questions about the product you find and its concentration, ask the pharmacist if it is safe to use vaginally.
I last bought a bottle probably 5 years ago and at that time it cost less than $5(US). Eight ounces will probably last you through at least two dozen YI uses (depending on the length of treatment).
Buy some empty size zero gel capsules from the pharmacy as well. (For vegans, there are non-gelatin caps often available at health food stores).
I've also heard people saying that "Yeast Arrest" and other over-the-counter pre-made capsules containing boric acid work, but I've never personally tried that route. Pre-manufactured and packaged capsules are significantly more expensive than making your own.

How do I make the capsules? How long do I use it?

Take it all home and dump about an 1/8 of a cup of boric acid powder onto a flat surface (I use a plate). Open a gel cap and scoop powder into both sides and close it up. Repeat until you've got enough caps for your needs. You can dump the remaining powder back into the bottle for future use.

Insert two gel caps nightly for every night that you're taking an antibiotic (for YI prevention).
For yeast infection and/or bacterial vaginosis treatment insert two gel caps nightly for 10 days (can go up to 21 if the symptoms are still present). This treatment regimen is not set in stone. Monitor your body's cues throughout the treatment and if it seems like your symptoms are gone after, for example, 3 nights of capsules, stop treating then. You can always restart the treatment if the yeasties return.
As far as dosage goes, I can't tell you specifically how many milligrams of boric acid to use per dose because I've never seen that information on the bottle and I suspect that there is some variation from brand to brand.

How do I do it?

Make sure and put the caps in as you're lying down to go to bed. Staying flat helps to keep the powder/gel cap ooze up inside of you. When you get up the next morning you'll need to rinse said ooze off (one day I was late getting up and rushed out forgetting about it and had a very sticky and uncomfortable day).

How does it work? Isn't it poison? Doesn't acid burn?

Boric acid works by reacidifying your vagina and killing off the unwanted fungus and/or bacteria.
I've heard some people here say that they had burning and discomfort from using boric acid, but it's unusual. It is a chemical that is safe to be used vaginally and even on eyeballs, so don't let the "acid" part of it scare you off. If you do have mild burning during the first few days, it is likely nothing to worry about. If you experience severe burning, stop using it!
Even at the 2% concentration, boric acid is mildly poisonous if ingested, do not eat it!

Here's some reputable web resources:

Web MD

The most informative, understandable yeast page ever.

Feminist Women's Health Clinic (All the way at the bottom.)
rockstarbob 13th-Feb-2005 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks! That went straight to the archives.
feckalyn 13th-Feb-2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
Woot!

You can probably remove my old boric acid one, as this covers the info in there and oh-so-much more!
so_cruel 13th-Feb-2005 07:00 pm (UTC)
Well done ma'am!

I'm one of the yeast arrest users. It works wonderfully!

Oh, and nice Inga icon. :)
feckalyn 13th-Feb-2005 07:24 pm (UTC)
:D
anachronista 31st-Aug-2005 01:29 am (UTC)
Hi - I was wondering how long you used the Yeast Arrest. My instructions don't specify. Should I do it for 10 days like the regular boric acid caplets?
so_cruel 31st-Aug-2005 09:07 pm (UTC)
I honestly just do it for a few days. My insert says 7-10 days for minor infections or 10-14 for serious infections. However, boric acid is so powerful, I generally only have to do one capsule a night for three nights before my infection is completely gone.

My advice is just to pay attention to your body the first time you use it to see how long it takes.
anachronista 1st-Sep-2005 05:00 am (UTC)
If only my period hadn't started today! I'll keep doing it through my five days and then see how everything is afterward. Thanks so much for letting me know.
fumblerette1 13th-Feb-2005 07:08 pm (UTC)
Ok, question. Where exactly do you find the empty capsules? Are they near the boric acid or some place else? Because I found the powdered acid, but couldn't find the empty capsules.
feckalyn 13th-Feb-2005 07:24 pm (UTC)
I've always bought them directly from the pharmacist.
fumblerette1 13th-Feb-2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
ahhh. ok, I'll try that next time.
elusiveways 29th-Sep-2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
ah, i know this was posted a long time ago, but i am too shy to ask the pharmacist! i am worried they'll ask what they're for or something.
feckalyn 30th-Sep-2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
Heh.

I suspect they've heard *much* worse! :)

You can also buy them at health food stores; usually in bulk.
angrybubble 13th-Feb-2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
Usually if you're in a store that also has a pharmacy you can go up to one of the pharmacists and tell them you need some empty capsules and they'll either give them to you or direct you to where in the store you can find them.
skyfullofleaves 21st-Feb-2005 01:33 am (UTC)
you know, I'm supposed to use borid acid for something unrelated to an infection and this makes me 10 times more comfortable about it.
skyfullofleaves 21st-Feb-2005 01:34 am (UTC)
er. boric! (I love being sick and out of it)
feckalyn 21st-Feb-2005 04:38 am (UTC)
Heee! I so totally knew what you meant I didn't even notice the typo.

Glad it was helpful :D
pseudo_sexual 28th-Jul-2005 04:11 am (UTC)
This may be a dumb question but are there adverse effects if you use the boric acid and it turns out you don't have an infection? Can you over-acidify your vagina or will it stay the same as usual?
feckalyn 28th-Jul-2005 06:01 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure....

My inclination is to say that it wouldn't cause any problems, but I don't have any resources to back me up on that assumption *shrug*
understudyashey 22nd-Sep-2005 01:08 pm (UTC)
where could i find yeast arrest? is it in normal pharmacies and supermarkets?

i'm desperate to get rid of my reocurring BV and this is a route i have yet to try
feckalyn 22nd-Sep-2005 03:35 pm (UTC)
Ive seen it at large chain pharmacies (CVS, Walgreen's, Osco etc). Google it and find out where you can get it near you! :)
robynchick 16th-Nov-2005 07:18 am (UTC)
Just to add on (Now that I'm the other Boric Acid advocate around here...)

I find the capsules are easiest to fill using a funnel I made myself out of a piece of plastic sheet and some tape. A paper funnel would work well too.

I also only need to insert one every night for only a few nights to see the symptoms gone.

Also, boric acid is quite poisonous, especially to children and pets. You probably don't want to get it all over the place.
feckalyn 16th-Nov-2005 01:22 pm (UTC)
At the 2% concentration especially it's not very poisonous (see the link above).
But you still shouldn't eat it or throw it around indiscriminantly :)
another_comfort 23rd-Jan-2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
This post was so helpful. Thank you. :)

Dumb question time: Is it unsafe (or just generally a Bad Idea(TM)) to have sex while treating with boric acid?
feckalyn It's not a dumb question!9th-Feb-2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
I don't have an answer to that question that I can back up with any meaningful data, but my personal assumption would be that any sort of sex that doesn't involve getting boric acid in one's mouth would be relatively harmless. The stuff is safe to use in vaginas and eyes, I don't expect that it would magically be harmful to penises or hands.

OTOH, depending on what you're using the boric acid to treat, you might be making the condition worse (or at least impeding the healing process) by having sex during the treatment.

Good luck!
adnara Re: It's not a dumb question!21st-Jun-2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
FSM!

Love.
jasmic2143 ???21st-Jul-2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
My Dr. called in a different type of anti-biotic to be used vaginaly (Clyndamycin) since the oral anti-biotic (Flagy) Did not work the two times that I tried it for my BV. I am going to get the prescription today. Are you supposed to use boric acid with the anti-biotic or no. Will the boric acid work on its own and once symptoms are gone will they return?
feckalyn Re: ???22nd-Jul-2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
I'd try the Clindamycin by itself and give it a chance to work. That way you'll be able to tell if it's an effective method for getting rid of your BV (because if you use both at the same time you won't be able to tell which one was responsible for curing it).

Boric acid can work by itself but doesn't always. Every person (and every infection) is different and sometimes it's just a matter of trial and error to see what works best for you and your body :)

Good luck!
asian_duckie 30th-Sep-2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
How many gel capsules should I buy?
abbylee 6th-Dec-2006 07:45 am (UTC)
You want to get a concentration of 2% or less for vaginal use


I don't know how internationally helpful this is, but mine was labelled "Boric Acid NF".
guttermouth04 12th-Jul-2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
would you be able to use the liquid kind that is sold as eye wash?? like, just...shoot it up there....or is that no good?/
__allodoxa 23rd-Aug-2007 07:52 am (UTC)
LOL! @ "just shoot it up there"..
i don't have an answer though, sorry.
acidflowers question23rd-Sep-2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
how long after a boric acid treatment can you have sex?
panasic 11th-Nov-2007 12:10 am (UTC)
does boric acid treatment interfere with nuvaring?
gallyko 6th-Dec-2007 07:42 am (UTC)
I've asked two OBGYNs and both said it won't affect the ring.

I had the same worry since I want to start using this Boric Acid method when I go back to school.
textual_healing 29th-Apr-2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
they have a TON of information about BV on the BUST website/forums

here's the link:
http://www.bust.com/lounge/index.php?showtopic=30850

its a looooong thread!
lanaka1 thanks for this27th-Dec-2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for posting this really thorough set of instructions. I'm far away from home for the holidays and it's Christmas weekend, so nothing is open, and I can't see my own doctor for at least a week. I'm in Palo Alto, and when I went to get the ingredients you describe, the pharmacist was very helpful and recommended moistening the capsules with water before inserting so that they would break down faster, which I did. It's only been day 1, but I have high hopes.
insearchof_ 15th-Apr-2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
oh my lawd, just wanna say that i've been doing the boric acid treatment for BV and it worked wonders! after only a few nights it has gone away, although i am gonna keep it up for a couple more days just to make sure.

also, i started taking Acidophilus probiotics and it has helped to manage my pH levels, which i think is helping a lot as well.

thanks for the tutorial!!!
in_this_love 29th-Mar-2010 07:42 am (UTC)
i just found this in the archives, but maybe you can still answer? can i do this if i am on antibiotics & just trying to prevent a yeast infection? will it do any damage?
feckalyn 14th-Sep-2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
I use boric acid every time I am on an antibiotic to prevent yeast. It is safe and very effective. I start inserting capsules the first night after I take the first antibiotic.
shawn25 boric acid13th-Apr-2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
does it also help to heal the outer irratations? i mean will the boric acid inserts cause this to clear up also, or will it have to be treated seperatly?
feckalyn Re: boric acid14th-Sep-2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
The irritation to the vulva and surrounding areas will likely stop as soon as the yeast is gone. Boric acid will not ease the itching and burning itself so you might need to try an otc cream or tea tree oil while you wait for it to kill all the extra yeast.
lavished 6th-Jan-2011 02:37 am (UTC)
love this post. haven't tried boric acid and maybe never will, but if my current YI doesn't clear up soon I'll use it or I'm sure it'll come in handy when the next one rolls around. but I'm wondering, does Diflucan + boric acid = good, bad, or okay? can't find any info on the interwebz. if boric acid and Diflucan shouldn't be combined, how long after the Diflucan should the boric acid be taken?
docjen 2nd-Aug-2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
How long does it take to treat the BV with Boric Acid?

Will it usually keep it at bay for a while or will I risk BV coming back again and again?
cass_0208 BV6th-Apr-2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
So I have BV and i'm using boric acid as a treatment and i was wondering how long after finishing taking the capsules can I receive oral sex? Because i know it's a mild poison
Scarlett Russell Boric Acid and BV17th-Jul-2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the information with regards to making my own boric acid pills, I am heading out today to get what I need. I am 39 years old and have BV for the first time a few months ago. The Boric acid works the best. My GYN didn't know what else to do when the boric acid didn't permanently clear it up after two round of using it for 14 days. It did clear it up but only for a few weeks. She referred me to a chronic Infectious Disease specialist. When I called them regarding my issue they suggested to continue to use the Boric acid as long as it isn’t for extended use meaning 6-9 months continually. I have found that I can use it for 3-4 days and it will clear it up for several days or several weeks. I recently started drinking cranberry juice but haven’t been doing it long enough to notice a difference. Both the GYN and Infectious Disease specialist said you can have sex while using the boric acid. This is a mean little bugger of a problem and it so reassuring to see how common it is. I have also tried RepHresh Pro-B pills for three months, I took it religiously everyday for three months and it did not make a difference. I have also tried RepHresh Vaginal Gel and didn’t notice any change from that either. I thought it might be helpful to pass along what I know and have experienced.

Edited at 2012-07-17 07:17 pm (UTC)
gardensatnight Re: Boric Acid and BV13th-Jul-2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for posting this! I have been using Boric Acid for a ridiculously persistent yeast infection, but like you, it's only gotten it to go away for a little while, and it always comes back. I didn't realize I could take it that much/often, so I will definitely try it.

I had to stop for a bit because I started getting spotting, but think it's time to get really serious about eradicating this infection - I was thinking of trying to get to a specialist too, but then thought what are they going to do if I already know nothing works!
scoottyboy 15th-May-2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
well i was just looking for a way to get black mould off my patio (similar problem i know), but i will pass this handy DIY tip on to her indoors, could save a fortune down the chemist!!

p.s. any idea how to get pesky black mould off me patio,,,,,, toodleoo :))
eavanmoore 24th-Jun-2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
a) scrub hard with white vinegar
b) if your problem is in the grouting, you might need to re-grout.
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