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Century-Old Technique May Help Infertile Couples

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) — A 100-year-old medical remedy might assist infertile women get pregnant with out present process expensive in vitro fertilization (IVF), a brand new research suggests.

The technique was first utilized in 1917 and includes flushing a lady’s fallopian tubes with an iodized poppy seed oil.

“Over the previous century, pregnancy charges amongst infertile women reportedly elevated after their tubes had been flushed with both water or oil throughout” a dye check of the fallopian tubes beneath X-ray, defined research lead researcher Ben Mol. He’s with the University of Adelaide in Australia.

“Until now, it has been unclear whether or not the kind of answer used within the process was influencing the change in fertility,” Mol stated in a college information launch.

“Our results have been even more exciting than we could have predicted, helping to confirm that an age-old medical technique still has an important place in modern medicine,” he added.

This research included greater than 1,100 women being handled for infertility who had their fallopian tubes flushed with both the poppy seed oil or water.

Successful pregnancies occurred inside six months for almost 40 % of the women within the oil group and 29 % of these within the water group, the researchers reported May 18 within the New England Journal of Medicine.

The poppy seed oil used within the research is accessible in 47 nations worldwide, the authors famous.

“The rates of successful pregnancy were significantly higher in the oil-based group, and after only one treatment,” Mol stated. “This is an important outcome for women who would have had no other course of action other than to seek IVF treatment. It offers new hope to infertile couples.”

However, “we still don’t really understand why there is a benefit, only that there is a benefit from this technique, in particular for women who don’t present with any other treatable fertility symptoms,” Mol identified.

“Further research would need to be conducted into the mechanisms behind what we’re seeing. For now, and considering the technique has been used for 100 years without any known side effects, we believe it is a viable treatment for infertility prior to couples seeking IVF,” he stated.


“Not only is there a known benefit, but this flushing procedure is also a fraction of the cost of one cycle of IVF. Considering that 40 percent of women in the oil-based group achieved a successful pregnancy, that’s 40 percent of couples who could avoid having to go through the huge costs and emotions associated with IVF treatment,” Mol concluded.

Two infertility specialists stated the tactic might have actual benefit.

“There are two details we have now recognized for many years: First, sufferers who can’t conceive for a protracted time period will typically get pregnant on their very own after having an X-ray of the uterus utilizing dye,” famous Dr. Avner Hershlag. He’s chief of Northwell Health Fertility in Manhasset, N.Y.

“Second, when the X-ray is done with a [fat]-soluble dye as opposed to water-soluble dye, the spontaneous pregnancy rate is higher,” he added. Both of these details have been borne out within the Australian analysis.

Hershlag stated the primary contribution of the brand new research is “large population and the careful controls done — making it a good scientific observation.”

Dr. Tomer Singer directs reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He agreed that “this very well-designed study confirms what we as reproductive endocrinologists have known for years, and reiterates the importance of assessing every part of the reproductive organs prior to initiating any fertility treatment — insemination or IVF.”

Singer stated the findings may be a bit totally different within the United States, the place not everybody can have fertility remedies coated by insurance. He additionally stated the couples within the research tended to be youthful than these seen in most U.S. clinics.

But the process used within the research is well-known, Singer stated.

“In our Center, we routinely include a fallopian-tube test for both diagnostic and therapeutic reasons — it is traditionally done between five and 12 days of the menstrual period,” he stated. “We advise patients that, once performed, they should try to conceive on their own or with assistance in the following months.”

According to Singer, “the rationale some reproductive endocrinologists draw back from oil-based contrasts as in comparison with water-based contrasts is the slight elevated danger for pelvic inflammatory disease and uncomfortable side effects.”


Side results can embrace pelvic pain lasting for hours or a number of days, and managed by nonprescription painkillers, Singer stated. “Some sufferers will expertise a small quantity of vaginal bleeding, fever or chills,” he added. “Rare problems of [the procedure] are pelvic an infection and allergic reaction to the dye; each are nicely under 1 %.”

As for research writer Mol, he believes extra couples ought to be made conscious of the flushing process.

“Professional our bodies answerable for tips, funders of health care, and fertility clinics all have a task to play in aiding infertile couples to make this intervention out there to couples earlier than IVF is began,” Mol stated.

The research can also be scheduled for presentation Thursday on the World Congress on Endometriosis in Vancouver, Canada.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Avner Hershlag, M.D., chief, Northwell Health Fertility, Manhasset, N.Y.; Tomer Singer, M.D., director, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; University of Adelaide, information launch, May 18, 2017

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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