At Medfem Fertility Clinic we offer a procedure called an ‘Endometrial Scratch’. An endometrial scratch is a procedure used to help embryos implant more successfully after in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or frozen embryo transfer (FET). Research has shown that superficially injuring the lining of the uterus (womb) can actually stimulate the uterus to be more receptive to an implanting embryo resulting in improving the chances of getting pregnant. Embryo implantation into the womb may fail due to poor embryo quality or abnormal embryo genetics. It can also often fail due to poor ‘endometrial receptivity’. This is where the lining of the womb is not favourable for the embryo to implant.
The procedure is carried out in the cycle preceding your IVF, ICSI or FET, approximately 7-9 days before the period is due. The endometrial scratch is a straightforward out-patient procedure which is relatively painless (similar to a cervical smear test). The procedure involves “scratching” the endometrial lining of the womb with a very small catheter (plastic tube) prior to an attempt to get pregnant. The procedure is thought to increase the immune system cells and therefore the growth factors at the site of the endometrial scratch, as well as hormones and chemicals. The new lining which grows after the procedure is thought to be more receptive to an implanting embryo and so increases the chances of pregnancy.
You must have a semi-full bladder for the procedure. The specialist will then pass a speculum in the vagina to get the cervix in view (similar to having a smear test). A fine catheter will then be passed through the cervix into the cavity of the uterus to superficially scratch the lining of the uterus. You may experience slight discomfort but the procedure is relatively pain free.
The procedure will take approximately 15minutes to complete. Following an endometrial scratch you may experience light spotting and mild discomfort.