- Boric acid suppositories (BAS) are among other things a TikTok trend to improve vaginal taste.
- However, BAS should only be used to treat certain medical conditions, and misuse could be dangerous.
- When used properly, boric acid suppositories can heal vaginal dryness, yeast infections, and more.
Boric acid suppositories have been around for hundreds of years to treat various vaginal conditions such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV).
However, TikTok influencers have been raving about this product lately, claiming it “works like magic” and can do everything from curing vaginal dryness to “rebalancing” your vaginal pH levels after intercourse.
It goes without saying, but you shouldn’t believe everything you see on TikTok, especially in this case, as it could seriously damage your health.
With repeated use, boric acid can remove the vagina’s “good” bacteria, which is important for maintaining a healthy vaginal microbiome.
Read on to learn when boric acid suppositories are safe to use, how to use them properly, and who should avoid them at all costs.
What boric acid suppositories treat
Boric Acid Suppositories contain boric acid, also known as hydrogen borate or boric acid, which can help kill many viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, including:
Doctors may recommend the use of boric acid suppositories in some situations. If you have a BV or yeast infection, this isn’t usually the first line of treatment.
“It’s usually used as a second line of treatment after standard treatments have failed to clear the infection. You don’t need a prescription to buy them, but it’s a good idea to consult your doctor first,” says Dr. Donald Grant. a senior clinician at The Independent Pharmacy.
How can I get boric acid suppositories?
You can buy boric acid suppositories online or over the counter at your local pharmacy for between $15 and $30.
Even so, it’s still a good idea to check with your doctor before using boric acid suppositories on their own.
“The vagina is an organ that can be affected by unnecessary or ineffective treatments,” says urogynecologist Dr. Alexis May Kimble, Medical Director of the Kimble Center for Intimate Cosmetic Surgery.
“While over-the-counter self-treatment can provide immediate relief, it could disrupt a healthy vaginal microenvironment,” says Kimble. “As such, patients may be at greater risk of developing other undesirable vaginal conditions.”
These include BV, vaginal irritation and pelvic inflammatory disease.
How to use boric acid suppositories
If you and your doctor decide that boric acid suppositories are the best course of action, be sure to read the directions before using them, as there can be differences between brands.
In general, best practice for correctly inserting a boric acid suppository is as follows:
1. Wash and dry your hands.
2. Take the capsule out of its packaging.
3. If you have an applicator, gently place the capsule in the applicator. Be careful not to drop the capsule on the floor or counter beforehand. In this case, open a new capsule.
4. Lie on your back with your knees bent (you can stand with your knees bent if that is more comfortable for you).
5. Take a deep breath and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
6. Using the applicator or your fingers, gently insert the suppository into your vagina as far as possible. Press the plunger at the end of the applicator to push the suppository in, then remove the applicator.
7. Discard the applicator (if you used one).
8th. Wash your hands thoroughly.
If you miss a dose, the Cleveland Clinic recommends taking it as soon as possible. Do not use double or extra doses.
according to dr Jodie Horton, Chief Wellness Advisor for Love Wellness, the most common side effect of using boric acid suppositories is watery or thick white discharge throughout the duration of your treatment.
Other possible side effects are:
- Vaginal irritation, tenderness, or burning
- Allergic reaction (hives or itching)
If you develop severe symptoms, feel unwell, or notice your infection is getting worse, contact your doctor before taking another dose.
Are Boric Acid Suppositories Safe?
While boric acid is traditionally used as a cockroach poison, boric acid suppositories are safe to use vaginally.
However, boric acid is toxic:
- Exposure in small doses (5–20 g for adults) may cause skin irritation or nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea if swallowed.
- According to the CDC, if you take a large amount (about 30g, or 50 suppositories) in a short period of time, it can damage your intestines, stomach, liver, kidneys, and brain and lead to death.
Symptoms of boric acid poisoning include:
- Blue-green vomit
- rash or blisters
- lethargy (loss of energy)
- Twitching (facial muscles, arms, hands and legs)
- Low blood pressure
Some suppositories may resemble oral medications. Because of this, it is imperative to keep your capsules in a safe place away from children or pets.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends storing boric acid suppositories in a cool, dry place between 59°F and 86°F. The suppositories will melt if they get too warm.
You should also avoid vaginal or oral sex until you have completed your treatment. Choosing not to wait can cause irritation or a burning sensation in both you and your partner.
Additionally, oral sex too early can put your partner at risk of ingesting undissolved boric acid.
Who Should Not Use Boric Acid Suppositories?
People who are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not use boric acid suppositories as it can harm the developing fetus.
“You should also not use boric acid suppositories if you are pregnant, bleeding, have pelvic inflammatory disease or any other sexually transmitted disease,” Grant warns.
You should avoid taking boric acid suppositories if you have diabetes, have a compromised immune system, or are currently taking blood-thinning medications.
Boric acid suppositories have been used for years to treat recurring vaginal infections like BV and yeast infections.
Doctors generally recommend using boric acid suppositories as a second-line treatment when standard treatment options are ineffective.
Intravaginal use of boric acid suppositories is considered safe, but ingestion of boric acid can cause death. For this reason, it is important to keep boric acid suppositories in a safe place away from children and pets.
People who are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not use boric acid suppositories.
If you are interested in using boric acid suppositories, consult your gynecologist first as there may be a better alternative treatment option depending on your symptoms.