Can boric acid suppositories help?

Dear Dr Mitchell,

Is it true that boric acid suppositories will help with some of the problems I have, like with my smell down there, and any risk of yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis? I want to try it, but I'm scared about inserting anything that I may not be able to get back out.

Boric acid has mild antiseptic and antifungal action. It is an over-the-counter medicine that is used to treat vaginal yeast infections and can relieve vaginal itching and odour. It is discouraged in pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers since it is not known whether it could harm a breastfed baby.

It is important to seek medical advice and get a proper evaluation done to ensure that the correct diagnosis is made and safe medication is prescribed. Vaginal itching and odour may be present in significant sexually transmitted infections and the use of boric acid inserts would be considered dangerous.

There are also drugs that can interact with boric acid, these include birth control pills, hormone replacement, magnesium supplements, vitamins, and some herbal products.

It is totally unsafe to self-diagnose and treat yourself with boric acid. Consult your doctor and get a proper evaluation done. It is safer to stick with standard medication with established safety profiles.

A person with any of the following conditions should not use boric acid capsules:

•Sexually transmitted diseases

•Pelvic inflammatory disease

•Abnormal vaginal bleeding

•Heart disease

•A history of blood vessel disorder

•Fever

•Nausea

•High blood pressure

•Weak immune system

•Diabetes mellitus

•Human immuno-deficiency virus

•Systemic lupus

•If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If your problem is recurrent, then you should get a cervical and vaginal swab done to determine the exact underlying cause of the infection. Your partner should also be examined and treated. You should get a Pap smear done and a complete screening for other sexually transmitted infections. A blood sugar test for diabetes mellitus should also be done. Diabetes mellitus can cause recurrent vaginal infections.

Dr Sharmaine Mitchell is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Send questions via e-mail to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com; write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5 or fax to 876-968-2025. All responses are published. Dr Mitchell cannot provide personal responses.

DISCLAIMER:

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to medical advice or treatment from your own doctor.

Dr Sharmaine Mitchell

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