It was messy, nerve-wracking and not for me.
Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash
Yup, you read that right. I inserted boric acid into my va-jay-jay to cure bacterial vaginosis, and let?s just say ughhhh.
It was not only messy???it was nerve-wracking.
After reading article after article touting the benefits of boric acid to treat my bacterial vaginosis, I found more articles that said I would die a terrible death as a result.
That was after I?d already inserted a boric acid suppository into my vagina.
I didn?t die though. I?m still here to my story.
Of course the question remains:
Why the hell did I put boric acid into my lady parts in the first place?
The idea was to cure my bacterial vaginosis.
Bacterial what? Yes, just like it sounds, bacterial vaginosis is bacteria in your honey pot, namely too much of it. The term bloom gets bandied around a lot.
Bloom means the bacteria population in your pum-pum suddenly explodes and now you?ve got yourself a bad case of the itchies.
A healthy balance of bacteria is good for a vage. That?s why you?re not supposed to douche. Douching washes all the good bacteria away ? the bacteria us gals need to keep the bad bacteria in our vaginas at bay.
What does BV feel like?
Bacterial vaginosis, or BV as it?s commonly called, feels like having a yeast infection, though the two aren?t related.
A yeast infection is just that ? it?s fungal in nature ? while bacterial vaginosis is an overgrowth of the bacteria we women already have naturally in our vaginas.
And yet a yeast infection and BV feel similar, so they?re easily confused.
You?ve got the same uncomfortable sensations. Your vulva becomes inflamed. It hurts to pee. And you itch like hell.
One good way to find out whether you have bacterial vaginosis is to try to treat your symptoms with the over-the-counter medication used to cure yeast infections.
If you have BV, that medication will only make your burning itchiness worse.
Uncomfortable, but at least BV isn?t one of the dreaded STDs.
Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease, though it does often result from sex. Too much sex. Or too many sexual partners. Or just one new sexual partner. Whatever. The delicate balance of bacteria normally found in your punani gets upset and then you get that bloom.
Makes you wish you didn?t have a vage, right?
Other symptoms include ye old vaginal discharge. Gray and foamy, anyone?
And if a grayish and foamy discharge from your vagina weren?t disgusting enough, try adding foul-smelling to the mix.
I remember one time I thought I had BV. I immediately made an appointment with my doctor. When she entered the examination room, she asked me what I had come in for.
?I think I have bacterial vaginosis,? I said.
?You don?t have BV,? she responded.
Huh? How did she know? She hadn?t even examined me yet.
?I?d be able to smell it the moment I walked in the room,? she said.
No scent of rotting fish wafting out from my pudenda.
That time I did, in fact, just have a yeast infection.
So why not just take antibiotics?
The most typical way to cure oneself of BV is take a course of antibiotics. Sure, usually when I?ve come down with BV, I?ve just gone to a doctor to get prescribed a round. The problem is, the antibiotics used to cure BV are nasty. The first time I was given a week?s worth of antibiotics for my BV, my doctor proclaimed, ?Don?t drink any alcohol while you?re taking this.?
Really? Like really, really?
Doctors always say that when you?re taking antibiotics. The problem is, I love my wine.
Now I?m supposed to go an entire week without drinking wine just because I?m on antibiotics?
?Not a drop,? my doctor said.
She was right. One of the reactions of that particular antibiotic (metronidazole) is that it alters how the body breaks down alcohol.
According to WebMD, while taking metronidazole, you don?t want to drink because:
?Ingesting alcohol or using topical preparations that contain alcohol may result in throbbing in the head and neck, irregular heart beat, rapid heart beat, low blood pressure, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.?
Apparently the interaction is so bad that metronidazole used to be prescribed to alcoholics to treat their addiction.
And what?s worse, because metronidazole stays in your system even after you?ve stopped taking it, health experts warn that you should avoid alcohol for up to three days after your last dose.
I got through the week without drinking, but I didn?t want to do that again. The next time I came down with BV ? because with BV, there?s always a next time ? I asked to be prescribed a different antibiotic: clindamycin.
The problem with clindamycin is that it famously causes diarrhea.
Shit ? literally. I just couldn?t win. Either abstain from liquor or get the runs.
So you can understand why when I recently suspected I had BV yet again, I wasn?t jumping to take either of those antibiotics.
I also didn?t even know if I had BV.
When I developed some of the symptoms, I went to the doctor per usual. Nope, she couldn?t smell me as soon as she entered the examination room, and nope, it wasn?t a yeast infection because there was no yeast present in my muff.
However, I still had the itchiness and burning symptoms. A culture was performed but the results came back equivocal. Could be BV, could not be.
But I was uncomfortable, so I unequivocally wanted to get rid of whatever was itching me down there. I just didn?t want to take those antibiotics.
Nonetheless, the doctor called the diarrhea variety into the pharmacist anyway, because give me the trots before you take my wine away, please.
But before I popped the pills, I wanted to try a natural remedy first.
I had previously embarked on research about natural remedies for BV, and boric acid suppositories kept coming up in the search.
But why the hell would any woman put boric acid into her vagina?
I don?t know about you, but when I think of the term acid and I think of the term vagina, those two terms don?t mix.
Nevertheless, after reading article after article celebrating the powers of boric acid to clear up bacterial vaginosis, I decided I might as well try it out.
Boric acid is used to kill cockroaches.
Yup, that?s the same boric acid.
According to the Arrow Termite and Pest Control Co. website:
?When cockroaches crawl through the boric acid powder, it gets all over them, sticking to their legs, arms, etc. When the cockroach preens itself (cleans itself), it ingests the powder. If the cockroach doesn?t clean itself, its body will naturally absorb the powder anyway. Once the acid is inside the cockroach, it makes its way into the nervous and digestive systems, causing death shortly after ingestion.?
So why the frick would I ever want to put boric acid in my vagina?
Though it seems counterintuitive, boric acid is actually hailed as a cure for BV.
On the Flo Health website:
?Boric acid capsules are a well-established treatment for bacterial vaginosis.?
Dr. Rebecca Levy-Gantt instruct patients to keep a supply of boric acid suppositories for when they start to experience BV symptoms.
Caleb Backe, a Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, endorses boric acid to cure BV.
?Boric acid suppositories have proven to be one of the best short-term treatment options for vaginal yeast infections.?
Dr. Michael Unger, a board-certified specialist in female pelvic medicine, prescribes boric acid to patients dealing with bacterial vaginosis.
And the list goes on.
So, yes, I was sold.
Boric acid to the rescue? Or not.
So I ordered my very own bottle of boric acid suppositories and paid extra to have them mailed to me that day. When the suppositories arrived in the afternoon, in one went and then I waited.
And waited. And waited.
Then I did something very stupid ? or smart ? depending on how you want to look at it. I got back online and continued to search boric acid suppositories and BV.
Scrolling through my search, my eye caught one of the typical searches for boric acid and BV.
?Boric acid suppositories death.?
As I skimmed the search results, my eyes widened and my heart began to flutter in my chest.
My sight honed in on a sentence describing boric acid poisoning:
?Death resulting from cardiovascular collapse, shock, or respiratory failure.
My palms began to sweat.
On the NeuEve website, founded by Dr. Renjie Chang, women like me were chided for using boric acid to clear up our BV.
?We strongly recommend against using boric acid vaginal suppositories, for these four reasons:
Boric acid is a pesticide.
Boric acid is poisonous to humans.
Boric acid is an environmental pollutant.
Boric acid is ineffective or marginally effective for treating BV.?
On the Florida Health Finder website, boric acid was described as a ?dangerous poison.?
?The main symptoms of boric acid poisoning are blue-green vomit, diarrhea, and a bright red rash on the skin.?
And I?d put that stuff up my ying-yang.
I was going to die!
?If I go into shock take me to the emergency room,? I told my boyfriend as I tried to dig the suppository out of my vagina. It had already dissolved almost entirely.
It was over. All I could now was to wait for my impending death.
I waited, and waited, and waited. I didn?t go into shock. I didn?t puke blue-green vomit. I didn?t break out in a bright red rash. Over the course of the next few hours, there was a lot of discharge down there. Not grayish, foamy discharge, mind you. Nothing that smelled like rotting fish. Just a clear, wet substance like I had peed myself a little.
Finally it was time to call it a night. I hoped for the best, that I wouldn?t barf blue and green in my sleep, and that I?d wake up the next morning alive.
Yes, my panties were wet with whatever the hell was still coming out of me. But, yes, I was alive.
I thanked my lucky stars and went to fill my antibiotic prescription. Give me diarrhea any day if only to spare me from the blue-green vomit and the bright red rash.
I?m not saying that boric acid suppositories won?t work to cure BV for other women, but I?m simply too freaked out to chance using them again.
Having uncomfortable symptoms in one?s private parts is humbling enough. I certainly don?t want to kill myself trying to cure them.