Flushing Fallopian Tubes With Poppy Seed Oil Reduces Need for IVF

100 Year old Technique Cuts Odds For IVF Treatment

A new study revealed that hysterosalpingography (HSG), a 100 year old medical technique is proven to have significant benefits for fertility.

HSG is an old medical technique that involves flushing the woman’s fallopian tubes with iodised poppy seed oil, clearing out possible debris that hinders fertilization or pregnancy.

What is interesting about this old method as highlighted in the study is that HSG can reduce the need for IVF.

Cost-effective and less invasive, the researchers recommend HSG as the first option before considering IVF.

The study was spearheaded by researchers in the Netherlands and Australia.

Flushing fallopian tubes with poppy seed oil may reduce the need for IVF procedures.
An IVF procedure.

The Study and Key Results

The study known as H2oil study was headed by project leader Professor Ben Mol, from the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute.

The study invited 1119 women to be respondents of the study. Two methods of flushing the fallopian tubes were used, one was through the used of oil-based and water-based solution.

The work was conducted by Dr Kim Dreyer and Dr Velja Mijatovic from the Department of Reproductive Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, and a research team from 27 medical centres in the Netherlands.

Here are the results!

The results revealed flushing the fallopian tubes through oil-based solution is more effective compared to a water-based solution. In fact, almost 40% of infertile women in the oil group and 29% of infertile women in the water group achieved successful pregnancies within six months of the technique being performed.

The oil-based product used in the study was Lipiodol Ultra-Fluid, an iodised solution of fatty acids from poppy seeds. This product is currently available in 47 countries around the world.

Professor Mol confirmed that rates of successful pregnancy were significantly higher in the oil-based group as well, and after only one treatment.

This is an important outcome for women who would have had no other course of action other than to seek IVF treatment. It offers new hope to infertile couples,” Professor Mol says.

Historical Basis

The procedure, known as hysterosalpingography (HSG), is a dye test of the fallopian tubes conducted under X-ray. The procedure was first carried out in 1917, and since the 1950s both water-based and oil-based solutions have been used.

Professor Mol highlighted the efficacy of the medical method that for almost a 100 years pregnancy rates among infertile women reportedly increased after their tubes had been flushed with either water or oil during the X-ray procedure.

A Piece of Advice

Based from the results, Professor Mol shared an important advice to women who are struggling with infertility.

The use of used Lipiodol itself is not currently practiced widely, so the first thing couples need to do is to speak with their doctor about it,” Professor Mol says.

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