Oil based contrast (Lipiodol™) can be used in hysterosalpingography (HSG) which is an x-ray to confirm that the Fallopian tubes are open and the uterus shape is normal. Lipiodol™ is an iodine contrast agent that contains iodine and poppy seed oil which helps improve the clarity of the images obtained during x-ray examinations.
A large randomised control conducted in the Netherlands of couples with 12 months of infertility showed a 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™.
When Lipiodol™ is used, it may be cause 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 x-ray 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.
Lipiodol™ does incur extra costs. For the current price, speak to your Care Fertility doctor or contact us here.