4:36 pm - 09/23/2018

Boric acid for YI - how long to clear up?

Hi there, everyone,

I'm currently dealing with a yeast infection from hell that I can't get rid of, no matter what I do. I'm quite prone to yeast infections - my gynecologist suspected this might be related to my copper IUD - and I feel like I always have a kind of chronic underlying YI that decides to flare up from time to time. Generally when that happens I can manage it with Diflucan and get it back under "control"...but it seems to never really go away. Any small variation from normal - sex, my period, stress, alcohol - makes it comes back with a vengeance. Even more upsettingly, this time, I don't just have the standard vaginal irritation, it also seems to have migrated back toward the rectal area, so that I basically have itchy, uncomfortable diaper rash along the entire - ahem - undercarriage. It is really unpleasant and discouraging, to say the least.

I went to the doctor about a week and a half ago, who confirmed that I am indeed dealing with yeast (she confirmed this visually because I had already taken a Diflucan at that point, which often throws off the yeast swab test and gives a false negative). I told her I was worried about herpes (because I have a persistent phobia about herpes, and know that it can present in the same way as a YI), and she said it was definitely yeast; she had no doubt about that. She prescribed three doses of Diflucan and two different topical ointments, which I've used for the past week and have made no difference at all.

I know that some people have used boric acid to treat YIs, and so I bought some online and started inserting suppositories (vaginally) twice a day, starting about three days ago. This may be making a *small* amount of difference by now, though I continue to have the typical yeasty discharge (the encouraging part is that it seems to be getting increasingly watery/diluted, which is making me hope that it's breaking down/becoming less potent through the introduction of the boric acid). However, the boric acid is only helping with the vaginal YI, so today I also found a 10% boric acid cream which I've ordered and plan to use in the back area to see if that will help, too. I'm a bit discouraged, though, because despite my now three days of using the boric acid suppositories, things have not cleared up entirely, though a lot of the people who reviewed the suppositories indicated that they experienced relief within a single day! Then again, it seemed that many of those reviewers were using boric acid to treat BV and not yeast, so I wonder if the effects are quicker for BV with boric acid than they are with yeast...?

I intend to keep using the suppositories (and boric acid cream, once it arrives) for about 1-2 weeks to see if they kick in and start treating the problem. But in the interim, I'm wondering if anyone here has had experiences with treating YIs with boric acid. If so, how long did it take you to see some change in your symptoms?

Thank you very much for your help!
archangelbeth 24th-Sep-2018 05:04 am (UTC)
3 days is probably not quite long enough for a yeast infection -- especially a stubborn one like this!

https://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/22229410.html has comments suggesting 5-7 days, and then once or twice a week to maintain acidity for the next couple months.

For external use, I'd suggest a shallow bath with about a cup of vinegar in it (maybe apple cider, because it smells a little better). I would not do any douching (especially not with an IUD!), but https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2567125/ does say, "Three vinegar-containing douches selectively inhibited vaginal pathogens associated with bacterial vaginosis, group B streptococcal vaginitis, and candidiasis, but not lactobacilli, suggesting to the investigators that vinegar (5 percent acetic acid) douches may be less harmful or may be beneficial." Be careful; if it stings too much, rinse off, maybe use some coconut oil to soothe things, and consider trying with less vinegar later.

If there's improvement, keep doing that every day or two?

Comments in https://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/20353387.html have some more suggestions about ways to find the capsules to make your own.
https://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/7322745.html is about how to use a tampon as a boric acid applicator!

As a long-shot, you might want to talk to your doctor about the possibility that the IUD strings are allowing yeast to stick to them and possibly colonize the cervix or uterus. I only say this because my uncle-in-law got a nasty case of blood MRSA (I think that's the acronym) that turned out to be the bacteria hiding out on his pacemaker leads; once the leads stopped being reached by the bloodstream (and all the IV antibiotics they were pumping into him), the bacteria weren't affected by the antibiotics and re-colonized his blood. They had to replace the whole pacemaker!

If something like that is the case, then you might need a longer course of Diflucan to go along with a maintenance dose of boric acid, or even remove the IUD, treat, and get a new one. (Which would be kind of sucky, admittedly. If you go that route, I very much advise requesting, at the time of appointment, a doctor who can do a cervical anesthetic shot; I've had insertions both ways, and the cervix was TOTALLY CHILL the second time, with the shot.)

Also as a long shot, your doctor has made sure that it's not a sign of a potential mild diabetic condition, yes?

(For a keyword search that might be helpful, I did:
boric acid for yeast infections site:vaginapagina.livejournal.com
*does a websearch-fu dance* O;> )

Anyway, good luck!
acs80 24th-Sep-2018 10:30 pm (UTC)
You are always such an amazing help - thank you! I did think a bit about diabetes (which runs in my family), so if this boric acid doesn't work I'll go back into the doctor.
archangelbeth 30th-Sep-2018 06:29 am (UTC)
Fingers crossed! (But yeah, if diabetes runs in the family, definitely worth checking on just on general principles, probably.) And glad to be useful!
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