The long-term costs and effects of tubal flushing with oil-based versus water-based contrast during hysterosalpingography

H2Oil Study Group

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Research question: What are the long-term costs and effects of oil- versus water-based contrast in infertile women undergoing hysterosalpingography (HSG)? Design: This economic evaluation of a long-term follow-up of a multicentre randomized controlled trial involved 1119 infertile women randomized to HSG with oil- (n = 557) or water-based contrast (n = 562) in the Netherlands. Results: In the oil-based contrast group, 39.8% of women needed no other treatment, 34.6% underwent intrauterine insemination (IUI) and 25.6% had IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in the 5 years following HSG. In the water-based contrast group, 35.0% of women had no other treatment, 34.2% had IUI and 30.8% had IVF/ICSI in the 5 years following HSG (P = 0.113). After 5 years of follow-up, HSG using oil-based contrast resulted in equivalent costs (mean cost difference –€144; 95% confidence interval [CI] –€579 to +€290; P = 0.515) for a 5% increase in the cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate compared with HSG using water-based contrast (80% compared with 75%, Relative Risk (RR) 1.07; 95% CI 1.00–1.14). Similarly, HSG with oil-based contrast resulted in equivalent costs (mean cost difference –€50; 95% CI –€576 to +€475; P = 0.850) for a 7.5% increase in the cumulative live birth rate compared with HSG with water-based contrast (74.8% compared with 67.3%, RR 1.11; 95% CI 1.03–1.20), making it the dominant strategy. Scenario analyses suggest that the oil-based contrast medium is the dominant strategy up to a price difference of €300. Conclusion: Over a 5-year follow-up, HSG with an oil-based contrast was associated with a 5% increase in ongoing pregnancy rate, a 7.5% increase in live birth rate and similar costs to HSG with water-based contrast.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-157
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number1
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Female Infertility
  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Oil-based Contrast
  • Ongoing Pregnancy
  • Water-based Contrast

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