Lipiodol tubal flushing is a procedure that bathes the uterus in lipiodol (poppy seed oil). The doctor uses a technique where a fine catheter is inserted through the cervix and the lipiodol is injected into the uterus and fallopian tubes, under x-ray guidance.
Lipiodol flushing is only available to clients who have had full investigation for their infertility.
What is it and who is it for?
Lipiodol is an iodised poppy seed oil which has been used safely for many years to visualize fallopian tubes in X-Ray images. Lipiodol treatment is similar to a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) which is used to diagnose tubal blockages by flushing the fallopian tubes with a fluid.
Although HSG is not a new procedure, recent research has shown significant benefits for fertility linked with the use of lipiodol, compared to water-based dye solutions.
Lipiodol fertility treatment is recommended for women with unexplained infertility and endometriosis. There must not be any pre-existing damage to the fallopian tubes.
How effective is it and how does it work?
Over the decades, doctors using lipiodol for regular HSGs have observed that many women became pregnant in the months following this procedure. These findings have prompted further investigations which have since confirmed this association.
Repromed Doctor Neil Johnson led the FLUSH trial1 which saw the chances of pregnancy double following lipiodol flushing for women with unexplained infertility and increase by 4 fold for women with endometriosis in the first 6 months after the procedure.
Studies suggest that bathing the uterus in lipiodol enhances the uterine environment for successful embryo implantation.
How to access Lipiodol
Our Repromed doctors are able to refer you to a radiology facility for a lipiodol procedure, if appropriate. One of our specialists, Professor Neil Johnson, undertakes these procedures through Auckland Radiology Group.