A new fertility procedure could dramatically improve a woman’s chance of getting pregnant following IVF or ICSI. The technique called “endometrial scratching or endometrial scrubbing” has improved the live birth rate by around 20%. Women who have repeatedly failed IVF despite apparently good quality embryos may be candidates for endometrial scratching. This procedure involves administering stimulation to the inner lining of the womb.
The “scratching” is done, between 6 and 10 days prior to starting fertility treatment (around Day 21 of the cycle) i.e. in the luteal phase of the cycles (after ovulation). It is suggested that endometrial injury increases the production of special type of white blood cells which secrete growth factors which in turn control embryo implantation. Sometimes embryos fail to implant due to genetic switching related to endometrial receptivity. That is, genes responsible for implantation of embryos are not switched on during the time when embryos are supposed to implant.
Endometrial scratching may increase the expression of genes thought to be responsible for preparation of endometrium for implantation.
The procedure is carried as an outpatient procedure similar to embryo transfer, without the need for general anesthesia by a doctor. You are advised to take analgesia such as Voltaren or Paracetamol 1-2 hours before your scheduled procedure.