Can Boric Acid Cure a UTI?

6898
Jessica Guht
Categorized as UTI

When you have a UTI, finding a quick treatment is essential if you wish to put an end to your discomfort and stop the infection from moving up the urinary tract. While antibiotics are the most common solution, there are others to consider. Boric acid is one of the most popular. 

But does boric acid cure UTIs? Here’s everything you need to know.

Table of Contents

What Is a UTI?

A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is a bacterial infection in any part of the urinary tract. They are most commonly located in the lower areas, such as urethritis (the urethra), but can spread up to the bladder (cystitis) or kidneys (pyelonephritis). 

While UTIs are far more common in men than women, it should be noted that they can affect everyone. In fact, they are shown to be among the most common bacterial infections in children while it is a common issue for older citizens, particularly those who use a catheter.  

UTIs will often go away without treatment, but more serious infections can cause a lot of discomfort in the meantime or lead to complications including permanent kidney damage.

Does Boric Acid Cure UTIs?

When you want to get rid of UTI symptoms fast, there are several solutions available. For acute simple UTIs, antibiotics may make a difference within 1-2 days – although a full course must be completed. Boric acid is another option that can relieve symptoms in very little time but it does not cure the UTI. Or at least not by itself.

However, boric acid will make symptoms less noticeable and has a positive impact on preventing the speed of e.coli (the most common pathogen) reproduction. This is immensely important as the cells can double every 20 minutes. So, while it doesn’t directly cure a UTI, it can help the body cure a UTI far faster. 

How Can Boric Acid Help With a UTI?

Boric acid for UTIs is usually taken via a suppository that is inserted into the vagina just before you go to bed. Its antifungal and antiviral attributes can successfully reduce the symptoms of various vaginal infections caused by chemical imbalances, such as yeast infections. 

The tablets include Lactobacilli, which serves to restore the vaginal flora by returning the pH level to the moderately acidic range of 3.8 to 5.0. By preventing the growth of bacteria, patients will notice that many of the UTI symptoms like burning sensations when peeing or itching. Furthermore, it is deemed safe to use after sex or during the menstrual cycle, which gives the suppositories an advantage over some of the other UTI treatments on the market. In fact, a lot of women use them as a preventative resource after sex with condoms or other items that may have upset the natural pH levels. However, it should not be used during pregnancy.

When using boric acid, though, it is important to wash your hands before opening the packaging. Otherwise, you could inadvertently push more bacteria into the vagina. The suppository should be inserted as far as it can comfortably go while repeating the daily process should be completed at the same time each night. 

While the benefits of boric acid for urinary tract infections can start to surface from the morning after your first tablet, you should continue the nightly process for two weeks. It is very likely that the tablets will cause vaginal discharge but this is very normal and shows that the body is naturally flushing unwanted bacteria out of the vagina. 

Can Boric Acid Cause UTIs?

In short, no. Boric acid will not cause a UTI. It is an acidic suppository that gently restores vaginal pH levels. The only way it will cause UTIs is if you allow bacteria to find their way onto the suppository before you insert it. The tablets dissolve in the vagina within 10 minutes while completing a full course should have a telling impact on reducing the risk of UTIs returning. 

While boric acid tablets won’t cause a urinary tract infection, it is important to recognize the possible side effects. In addition to discharge, you may notice redness or a burning sensation near the vaginal opening, especially in the minutes that directly follow the dissolving process.

What Are Some Good Home Remedies to Treat a UTI?

While boric acid is shown to be one of the most effective treatments for UTIs, several other home remedies may be useful for managing symptoms and preventing instances of UTIs. They include;

  • Take a baking soda bath, but be sure to avoid the potentially life-threatening repercussions of misuse.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath, which works somewhat like a baking soda bath to neutralize the bacteria.
  • Drink more water and introduce cranberry juice into your diet, as well as vitamin C to help fight bacteria.

Other home remedies proposed by experts are apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, garlic, marshmallow root, and cinnamon. The body’s natural defenses will look to fight the bacterial infection so any home remedy that helps restore PH levels and remove unwanted bacterial colonies is a positive addition.

When to See a Doctor?

UTIs represent between 1% and 3% of all general practitioner visits and are a particularly common reason for women and older patients to seek medical help. If your symptoms are severe or have worsened in recent days, you should speak to a doctor to gain a diagnosis and antibiotics prescription.

Alternatively, if you have tried boric acid or home remedies for mild symptoms with no success, you may need antibiotics. If visiting your local medical center feels daunting, an online doctor can provide the professional care you deserve from the comfort of your home.

With DrHouse you can see an online doctor within 15 minutes for a UTI diagnosis and antibiotics prescription. Our certified medical professionals have years of experience in providing a comprehensive service and provide the same quality of healthcare as you would receive from your local doctor. 

If you are experiencing UTI symptoms, don’t hesitate to get advice from our team of experts. Get started today!

Key Takeaways

Boric acid is a convenient solution to alleviate UTI symptoms and help your body naturally fight the infection. It does this by restoring the pH levels of the vaginal environment, which can also make the lower urinary tract a less hospitable environment for UTI-causing pathogens like e.coli to grow or spread. While more severe cases of UTIs will probably still require antibiotics, boric acid is one of the best alternative solutions for managing mild to moderate symptoms.

Sources:

  • Fitzgerald A, Mori R, Lakhanpaul M, Tullus K. Antibiotics for treating lower urinary tract infection in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD006857. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006857.pub2. 
  • E. coli – the biotech bacterium, Science Learning Hub. Available from: https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1899-e-coli-the-biotech-bacterium 
  • Lin YP, Chen WC, Cheng CM, Shen CJ. Vaginal pH Value for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Vaginitis. Diagnostics (Basel). 2021 Oct 27;11(11):1996. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics11111996. PMID: 34829343; PMCID: PMC8618584.
  • Hughes A, Brown A, Valento M. Hemorrhagic Encephalopathy From Acute Baking Soda Ingestion. West J Emerg Med. 2016 Sep;17(5):619-22. doi: 10.5811/westjem2016.6.30713. Epub 2016 Jul 21. PMID: 27625729; PMCID: PMC5017849.
  • Sowjanya Pulipati, Puttagunta Srinivasa Babu, M Lakshmi Narasu and Nagisetty Anusha, An overview on urinary tract infections and effective natural remedies. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 2017; 5(6): 50-56. 
  • Durojaiye, C.O. and Healy, B. (2015), Urinary tract infections: diagnosis and management. Prescriber, 26: 21-29. https://doi.org/10.1002/psb.1362

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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