19 January 2017
Poppy seed oil attracts undue media attention
Medical Directors from the country’s largest specialist fertility group Virtus Health temper the media’s suggestion that ‘Hope renewed for infertile women’ due to a poppy seed oil ‘cleaning of fallopian tubes.
“This study was carried out on young women with a short duration of unexplained infertility who therefore had a very high chance of natural conception. What the study showed was that the women who had their tubes tested with a fat-based solution had a slightly higher chance (10% higher) of natural conception than the women who had their tubes tested with a water-based solution,” explained A/Prof Peter Illingworth, Medical Director, IVFAustralia.
“It is critical to note that the study does NOT provide any meaningful basis for comparisons with the success rates of IVF. IVF is normally carried out on women with severe fertility problems who have already been trying for a long time to conceive. A hysterosalpingography is a common form of testing to assess the patency of fallopian tubes, interestingly blocked fallopian tubes is a relatively uncommon cause of infertility these days.
In common with the authors of this study, we recommend that young women with a short duration of unexplained infertility do still have a good chance of natural conception and should continue to try naturally before considering IVF. However, it is completely inappropriate to compare the natural conception rate in this group of young healthy women with the women who go through IVF to have their families.