Endometrial scratch

Information for patients

What is an Endometrial Scratch?

Recent research suggests that pregnancy rates can be improved when an endometrial scratch is performed in the menstrual cycle before IVF/ICSI treatment. This is particularly so in women who have had 2 or more failed attempts.

How does Endometrial scratch work?

Research suggests that the injury response following endometrial scratch increases growth factors at the site making the endometrium more receptive to embryo implantation. In other words, the procedure is thought to make it easier for your embryo to attach to the womb lining and make your chances of pregnancy better.

Who should have Endometrial Scratch?

Endometrial Scratch is similar to a cervical smear test, however because a fine tube is placed into the womb some women experience discomfort.

A speculum is gently inserted into the vagina to allow the clinician to see the cervix. The cervix is cleaned before inserting the plastic Pipelle tube through the cervix. The endometrial lining is scratched by moving the catheter up and down, this can cause period type pain. As no anaesthesia is required you will be able to go straight home after the procedure.

When is Endometrial Scratch performed?

Endometrial Scratch is usually performed between day 18 and 25 of the cycle in which you are starting medication for fertility treatment.

Preparing for your Endometrial Scratch Procedure

Please do a home pregnancy test before attending for your appointment as doing the procedure may interfere with the embryo if you are pregnant.

You may wish to bring a sanitary towel with you for after the procedure as it is common to experience some light spotting afterwards.

It would be a good idea to take paracetamol and ibruprofen 1-2 hours before the procedure to help prevent discomfort.

Are there any risks associated with endometrial scratch?

Research has not provided sufficient evidence that endometrial scratch has an effect on complications such as miscarriage, multiple pregnancy, pain or bleeding.