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The science behind the endometrial scratch

The endometrial scratch is a relatively new procedure and further research is being performed to understand the exact process by which it works. However, recent research suggests that locally injuring the endometrium (i.e. scratching the uterine lining) causes the uterus to start a ‘repair reaction’, which may increase the chances of embryo implantation in the following ways:

  • The injury causes increased production of white blood cells in the local area, thereby releasing growth factors, hormones and other factors. The new lining that grows from the scratch is believed to be more receptive to an embryo, increasing the chances of pregnancy.
  • Scientists also believe the genes responsible for embryo implantation are sometimes not switched on at the time when the embryo is supposed to implant. It’s thought that the endometrial scratch may switch those genes on and better prepare the endometrium for implantation.

After the scratch the saline wash is performed to remove any debris from the surface of the endometrium and provide a clean surface for embryo implantation.

  • Less risk of bleeding during pregnancy
  • Lower chance of a baby being born underweight
  • Less risk of a baby being born premature
  • Less risk of death
Baby feet in adult hand

“We were so ready through lockdown and so positive that it was going to work”