lists over 8,000 items under the search term "fertility"

Good oil on childbirth

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Tuesday, May 06, 2008 | 0 comments

Photo by
Julie Evans and Logan. Photo / Chris Skelton A fertility specialist says his latest research underlines the "drastically successful" effects of a cheaper, non-invasive alternative to IVF.

A trial led by Auckland University expert Dr Neil Johnson found that nine out of 12 women who had their uterus bathed with lipiodol, or poppy seed oil, became pregnant.

All the women had a history of infertility and endometriosis, a problem with the womb lining that affects up to a third of women struggling to conceive.

Johnson believes the oil helps embryos stick to the endometrium, the mucous membrane lining the uterus, boosting chances of it implanting. "It's a good value, low-cost alternative to other therapies that are being offered, like IVF," said the associate professor in obstetrics and gynaecology. "It has a drastically successful effect but there's an amazing hesitancy of the medical profession to take it on."

Details of the nine-month trial were revealed at the World Congress on Endometriosis in Melbourne in March.

Johnson focused on the oil's effect on the uterus after a 2003 study suggested it didn't need to flush the fallopian tubes to work, as was previously thought.

He gathered cell samples from his subjects' endometriums, which suggested the oil helped embryos stick and changed up to eight genes thought to boost the endometrium's receptiveness to implantation.

Johnson said he hoped future research would pinpoint which of those genes were responsible.

The study also suggested the oil helped to regulate genes involved in cell signalling and immune function, which stopped a woman's body from rejecting the embryo.

"The study is exciting because it suggests that we may be correct in our idea that lipiodol is improving the endometrium," Johnson said. "That's very exciting because no other study has shown how the endometrium can be improved. So it has the potential to open up areas in fertility research that have never successfully been opened up before."

One of Johnson's subjects was Auckland retail pharmacy manager Julie Evans, 40, who struggled for three years to get pregnant. She had mild endometriosis but her infertility was unexplained.

Three months after she had the lipiodol treatment she became pregnant and now has 15-month-old Logan. She said she would recommend the treatment, which she likens to a smear test. "It's surreal to live the dream. I had wanted it for so long."

Since the conference, specialists from Sydney, Brisbane and Britain have inquired about the treatment.

Kiwis can access it privately in Auckland at a 10th of the cost of IVF, which costs up to $10,000 a cycle.

Johnson's latest study was backed by Auckland University, Fertility Plus, IVF Auckland and the Auckland Radiology Group.

Dr Richard Fisher, medical director of Fertility Associates, Auckland's biggest provider of infertility services, said the research looked "good quality" and suggested lipiodol "may well be useful".

"But that doesn't say we will embrace it yet until we have other data supporting it."

Johnson said it was too early for firm conclusions but lipiodol was an effective first-line treatment for couples with unexplained infertility.

He said it would not be appropriate for women with blocked fallopian tubes and was less successful for those without endometriosis.

Study: A Review of the Use of Lipiodol Flushing for Unexplained Infertility.
Review Article


Life Begins...
Miscarriage stories of loss, hope & help

Stories of Pregnancy & Birth over 44y
- Daily blog of hope & inspiration!

4,600 Stories of Pregnancy & Birth over 44y
Daily blog of hope & inspiration!

Recent Keyword Searches: how many women get pregnant at 40, until what age can the women be pregnant?, childbearing women in their 40's, pregnant at 40 dangers down syndrome, estrogen in your 40s, pragnancy for older women, can you get pregnant with lower estrogen levels, what age can you get pregnant, percentage 40 year old pregnancy, older woman get pregnat

Category: , ,


About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

Find Catherine on Google+ - Circle us on Google+ - Join us on Facebook - Follow us on Twitter


Don't just sit there, reading this story or article - say something! Do you believe it? Do you think it is impossible? Do you wish it was you? Do you have a story to share (it might get published!)

NOTE: Comments are moderated - just to stop the spambots - and so may take up to a few hours to be approved.

Catherine reserves the right to review, edit, refuse or delete any comment.

Popular Posts