Poppy Seed Oil “Lipiodol” Flush
Your doctor may have also requested a Lipiodol Flush. Lipiodol is a medical grade iodised poppyseed oil which is injected into the uterus and tubes at the end of the tubal patency study (it is important that it is confirmed that the fallopian tubes are patent before it is inserted). It is a pale yellow oily liquid and when it is injected you may experience some mild cramping.
Flushing the uterus and tubes with Lipiodol has been shown to improve fertility in women with endometriosis and with unexplained infertility in the 6 months following treatment. It is thought that the oil improves the chances of implantation.
It is not suitable for women who have an allergy to iodine or in women with blocked fallopian tubes. There is an additional cost for Lipiodol treatment.
How long does it take?
The procedure takes about 30 minutes.
Does it cause discomfort?
Although there may be slight discomfort during the procedure this usually resolves very quickly.
After the Examination
After the procedure you will have small amounts of blood stained fluid come out vaginally. A sanitary napkin / pad will need to be worn for a few hours after the examination. It is also possible to experience some occasional and mild cramping in the hours after the test.
Can I try for a pregnancy the cycle in which I have the test?
The contrast agent used is a mixture of air and saline. It is safe to try for a pregnancy in the same cycle as you have had a tubal patency study.
What happens if fallopian tubes are blocked?
The fallopian tube carries the egg (produced by the ovary) into the uterus. The egg can be fertilised by a sperm in the fallopian tube and then passes into the uterine cavity and implants into the wall of the uterus, resulting in a pregnancy. If the fallopian tubes are blocked even if both the eggs and sperm are normal fertilisation and pregnancy is not possible or impaired.
With the rapid improvement of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) most women who have tubal infertility can go on to have the family they desire. Tubal micro-surgery to correct tubal infertility is technically possible, but generally results in poorer pregnancy rates than IVF.