A new study has found that scratching the lining of the womb may double the chances of conceiving and resulting in a successful pregnancy.
Endometrial scratch is a method that is used to help embryos implant more successfully after in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in patients who had failed cycles despite transfer of good quality embryos.
The outcomes suggested that endometrial scratching increased the chance of clinical pregnancy and live birth compared to no procedure or a placebo procedure.
Endometrial scratching increased the normal chance of a live birth or ongoing pregnancy from 9 per cent over a set period of time to somewhere between 14 and 28 per cent.However, “the quality of the available evidence is low”, the researchers included.
Further, there was no evidence that endometrial scratching has any effect on miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or multiple pregnancy.
Pain during the scratch procedure was observed by one study as an average of 6/10.
For the research, the team conducted a review of eight controlled trials evaluating endometrial scratching in a total of 1180 women planning to have intrauterine insemination (IUI) or attempting to conceive spontaneously (with or without ovulation induction).
In the review, the endometrial scratching was compared to no intervention or a mock intervention.
The primary outcomes were live birth/ongoing pregnancy and pain from the intervention.
Endometrial scratching is “a cheap and simple procedure” which can be conducted without analgesia during a short clinic visit. It, however, does require an internal examination, which is associated with pain and discomfort, said Sarah Lensen from University of Auckland in New Zealand.
The results were presented at the Annual Meeting of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Helsinki, recently.