Endometrial scratching is thought to help improve chances of implantation. 

What is endometrial scratching?

The endometrial scratching (ES) procedure is thought to trigger the body to repair the site of the scratch, releasing chemicals and hormones that make the womb lining more receptive to an implanting embryo. It is also suggested that the treatment could activate genes that make the womb lining more receptive to embryos.

Could endometrial scratching be right for me?

ES might be useful if you have had multiple failed fertility treatments in cycles where good quality embryos were transferred. It is not recommended for every women going for embryo transfer.

What does an endometrial scratch involve?

Endometrial scratching is similar to a smear test, so while it can be a little uncomfortable there’s usually no need for pain relief or sedation. The lining of your womb (endometrium) is gently scratched by small plastic tube (pipelle). This causes a release of hormones in order to begin a repair process. Evidence suggests that this process makes the endometrium more receptive to embryos, which means it could improve your chances implantation and therefore of a successful treatment.

When is endometrial scratch done?

The optimum time for the procedure is in the cycle before your IVF treatment. The best time is often 7 to 10 days prior to the expected period date.

Are there any risks?

There is a risk of infection with any internal procedure may require treatment with antibiotics but this happens in fewer than 5% of cases. The risk of perforation is extremely rare.

What to expect after endometrial scratching?

ES can cause period like pain or cramping, faint afterwards and/or a small amount of spotting or bleeding after the procedure but this could be managed with simple pain killers. Around 1 in every 200 women having this type of procedure may feel but this is usually brief and we will make sure you are feeling well before you leave the clinic

What’s the evidence for endometrial scratching?

The evidence for its effectiveness is based on a small number of moderate quality studies. Larger trials are in progress but findings suggest that the benefits of ES may be less certain than initially thought.