AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Oil based contrast media can be used for testing Fallopian tube patency via a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). Previous research showed that Lipiodol, the only oil-based contrast media on the market, when used for HSG increased natural pregnancy rates.

A recently published study aimed to see if Lipiodol, used as an add-on to IVF, increased pregnancy rates for women with endometriosis or recurrent implantation failure.

Lipiodol, made from poppy seed oil, is produced by the pharmaceutical company Guerbet, who funded the study.

Seventy women were randomly assigned to receive Lipiodol uterine bathing before fresh embryo transfer, or standard treatment. The results found that 24% of women in the Lipiodol group, and 30% who did not receive Lipiodol went onto have babies. This difference was not statistically significant.

Researchers originally planned to include 350 women in the study, but could not recruit enough women to take part over five years. The main reason for this was that many women chose to pay for Lipiodol outside the trial, as it was offered by other fertility centres in New Zealand.

The IVF-LUBE trial done by Dr Shelley Reilly and colleagues is published in Reproductive Biomedicine Online.


The IVF-LUBE trial – a randomized trial to assess Lipiodol® uterine bathing effect in women with endometriosis or repeat implantation failure undergoing IVF. Reilly, Shelley J et al. Reproductive BioMedicine Online , Volume 38 , Issue 3 , 380 – 386.