Definition - What does Endometrial Scratch mean?
An endometrial scratch is a procedure used to increase the chances of a successful embryo implantation during an assisted reproductive treatment (ART). Particularly useful for women or couples with healthy embryos who experience implantation failure or recurrent pregnancy loss, the endometrial scratch is thought to improve the quality of the uterine lining, resulting in higher rates of conception.
FertilitySmarts explains Endometrial Scratch
An endometrial scratch is a minor procedure, equivalent to a uterine biopsy, that involves removing a sample of tissue from the endometrium (uterine lining). A small tube is inserted through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus, where it scrapes away a piece of uterine lining. The procedure is quick with minimal side effects, although it may induce some cramping. Endometrial scratching is generally completed one week prior to the embryo transfer.
The explanation for endometrial scratching's efficacy is still being researched. However, the scientific theory speculates that by disturbing the endometrium, the body rushes to heal the site of the tissue removal. Fresh, healthy growth and hormones flood the uterus, which is thought to provide a rich and receptive site for embryo implantation.
The endometrial scratch is most commonly used inconjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).