Lipiodol™ is an iodine contrast agent that contains iodine and poppy seed oil. It is used as an injection to help improve the clarity of the images obtained during X Ray examinations. It has been used for several decades in hysterosalpingography (HSG) which is an XRay performed to confirm that the Fallopian tubes are open and the uterus shape is normal.
A large randomised control conducted in the Netherlands of couples with 12 months of infertility showed benefit of Lipiodol™ compared to water soluble contrast in achieving a live birth for at least six months (and out to three years) after the HSG with Lipiodol™. Lipiodol™ does incur extra costs and may be associated with discomfort at the time it is placed into the uterus. Because it is oily Lipiodol™ can affect breathing and respiratory function if it gets into the lungs at the time it is put into the uterus. This is called extravasation. Extravasation is rare but because of the risk of extravasation Lipiodol™ should always be instilled under XRay control so any extravasation is detected promptly.
Lipiodol™ is very high in iodine and may affect thyroid function. You may be asked to recheck your thyroid function a few weeks after the Lipiodol™ or at the time your pregnancy test is positive.