If you’ve ever dealt with a vaginal infection, you’ve likely heard your OBGYN talk about boric acid, which means you’re probably wondering what it is, how it works, and what the risks are, especially in regards to how using boric acid will affect you and your partner physically.
Does boric acid kill sperm? Boric acid does not kill sperm. Animal studies have shown that acute oral exposure to boric acid can have adverse effects on sperm quantity and quality. However, those effects have not yet been replicated in human trials and are restricted to oral ingestion, not direct topical exposure.
Understanding your doctor’s recommendations is important to making the best health decisions for you and your partner. Keep reading to learn more about the applications, common questions, and risks of intravaginal boric acid.
Boric Acid for Vaginal Health
Boric acid has been used since ancient times as an antiseptic. While it’s not used as often in Western medicine today, boric acid suppositories can still be prescribed for a variety of vaginal infections.
How Boric Acid Is Used
Boric acid has many uses both medicinally and non-medicinally. It has been used as an antiseptic, poison, preservative, and manufacturing agent.
In fact, boric acid is in everything from enamel to insecticide. These alternative uses call the compound’s medicinal abilities and applications into question in the medical community.
As an antiseptic, it is used in first aid to treat minor cuts, burns, and abrasions. In addition, it can be used intravaginally to treat certain bacterial infections. By returning the vagina back to a normal pH, boric acid facilitates the balance of good and bad bacteria.
Boric Acid Side Effects
Side effects of boric acid include the following. If any of these symptoms occur, please contact your doctor to discuss continued use.
- Vaginal irritation
- Skin rash
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding
Will Boric Acid Hurt My Partner?
There are a few reasons you and your partner may want to refrain from sex while using boric acid.
First, boric acid has a gritty texture that can be irritating to both parties with friction from intercourse.
Secondly, boric acid should never be ingested, meaning that oral sex should be avoided for at least 24 hours following administration.
Having sex while treating a vaginal infection is not recommended in general. This is because certain bacterial infections can spread from person to person through sexual contact. Sex while infected can also cause further irritation to the vagina.
Effects of Boric Acid on Sperm
The effects of boric acid on sperm quality has been deliberated in only a handful of trials. Trials conducted mainly tested the effects of oral consumption of boric acid in animals.
The findings of these trials indicated that oral consumption of boric acid negatively impacts spermination and sperm quality. These effects were reversible in trials through discontinued use of the acid.
However, the same trials only tested ingestion of boric acid in animals. Lacking human test subjects, it cannot be definitively determined whether boric acid impacts sperm quality through topical application or oral consumption.
That said, scientists and doctors favor caution and don’t recommend the use of boric acid due to the potential risks.
Does Boric Acid Prevent Pregnancy?
No, boric acid does not prevent pregnancy because it does not contain any spermicides. Boric acid should not be used by those pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive.
The impacts of boric acid on fertility, fetal viability, and reproductive health are not fully known, but most current studies indicate that it may cause potential harm to an unborn child, the mother, and the reproductive system.
Does Boric Acid Prevent STDs?
No, boric acid is used to treat vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis. Boric acid in no way prevents sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
Wearing a barrier protection, such as a condom, is the best way to prevent STDs and STIs while sexually active. Frequent checkups and updated vaccinations are equally important.
Does Boric Acid Affect Fertility?
Boric acid can cause issues with fertility following prolonged periods of ingested or topical use.
While there are no human trials linking boric acid to reduced fertility in humans, there are animal tests that indicate lower fertility in animals exposed to the substance, though these effects have been shown to be reversible through discontinued use of boric acid.
Can Boric Acid Cause a Miscarriage?
Experiments testing the safety and efficacy of boric acid on pregnant animals saw an increase in miscarriages in test groups.
While there are no human trials to provide definitive findings, we assume that there would be similar results and err on the side of caution. Therefore, taking boric acid while pregnant or trying to conceive is not recommended.
Can You Use Boric Acid on Your Period?
Yes! It’s safe to use boric acid suppositories on your period. However, it’s not advised to use boric acid suppositories with tampons because they can’t break down effectively.
This can cause irritation in the vagina and reduce the effectiveness of the suppository.
Why Does Boric Acid Cause Watery Discharge?
Boric acid is used to restore your body’s vaginal pH balance. In doing so, it can irritate the vaginal mucosa, the membrane that lines the vagina and keeps it moist. This is what causes the watery or abnormal discharge.
Boric acid will not kill sperm or prevent pregnancy because it does not contain spermicides, nor does it work to protect against sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
It is safe for use as a vaginal suppository when prescribed, but is not prescribed often due to associated risks.
Boric acid should not be administered if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding as it may have negative impacts on fertility and fetal viability.
Charley is a mother of three with a passion for raising good humans. With her children in tow, she studies English and has made a career creating content about motherhood. In her free time, she enjoys traveling within the states to kayak, camp, and hike.