Hi all

So after my first failed ICSI cycle a couple of weeks ago I receive my letter from the hospital today. It says I can book an appointment to discuss further but their recommendation is just to book my next cycle at the start of my next period.

I did want to ask about endoscratch and if they would recommend aspirin and find out if that's something they will do or consider but I don't want to delay starting my second cycle.

Does anyone know much about this? From what I have read if getting one it's done before your cycle but not sure if I have understood this wrong?

If it's later I would rather just start my next cycle and ask any questions along the way.


11 Replies

  • At my clinic, they do the scratch on day 21 of the cycle before the IVF treatment starts.

    If you have questions about the last cycle and moving forward, you are entitled to your follow up appointment, so don't feel that you are being pressured into doing what they want when they want


  • Glad you got a letter moira. I also got one from Glasgow giving us a follow up appointment on 9th November! ! So sounds like they defo won't give us another cycle x

  • Hi Moirgraham. I’m sure you will know all about this by now, but I will go through the basics anyhow for you. The lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is gently ’scratched’ using a thin catheter (a fine, flexible, sterile, plastic tube) which is passed through the cervix.

    This is often offered to women who have had two unsuccessful IVF cycles, but can be offered during any cycle, depending upon your consultant’s recommendations. New research and evidence suggests that scratching the uterine lining causes a ‘repair reaction’ which may increase embryo implantation rates. There have also been studies that show it also promotes uterine stem cells to develop. More research is underway to understand exactly how this works. It is usually done on day 21 of a treatment cycle, but if your periods are irregular, your consultant will advise on the best time for the procedure to be carried out. You must make sure that you have protected sex for one month prior to the treatment, to ensure that you are not pregnant. The procedure is not painful, but you may experience a little discomfort. It is much the same as having embryo transfer, and is often followed by slight bleeding afterwards. You will most probably be prescribed a course of antibiotics to take afterwards, to ensure you don’t get any infection. It is quite safe to take some paracetamol, should you feel any discomfort afterwards. Good luck with whatever you decide. Diane

  • Hi Moira, I had the scratch done last time. Ninewells didn't offer this as part of NHS treatment so had to have it done privately which cost £150. I didn't get to transfer but I've so many good things about it and although it's not pleasant I'm planning to do it again. I've also been recommended to do aspirin but would definitely take your clinics advice on this. My scratch was done around the time of starting the buserelin which is day 21. Good luck!x

  • So you were able to still have this done privately as part of your NHS cycle?

  • I had to go to a private hospital. Let me pm you some details. Not sure what I'm allowed to say on here!x

  • Hello, Moirgraham51! Just after some research..

    "Most failed cycles occur because the embryo was genetically abnormal and not healthy enough to develop into a baby. Sometimes other factors play a role, too. For instance, if the uterine lining is not optimized, then it may be more difficult for an embryo to implant.

    Women who have had multiple failed IVF cycles, despite seemingly good quality embryos, may be candidates for what we call “endometrial scratching.” Can endometrial scratching boost IVF success rates? Studies suggest that, in women who have failed prior IVF cycles, endometrial scratching appears to improve the implantation rate of a subsequent cycle.

    Endometrial scratching typically involves performing an endometrial biopsy around day 21 of the menstrual cycle. The biopsy is performed with a very small pipelle (tiny plastic tube) that is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. A small sample of endometrial tissue is obtained. The procedure often causes cramping, and we recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever ahead of time. Endometrial scratching can also be done at the time of a hysteroscopy.

    The mechanism behind endometrial scratching is not entirely understood, but we speculate that disrupting the lining of the uterus releases growth factors that help to improve embryo implantation. Patients who have failed two or more IVF cycles seem to benefit the most from this procedure. Some studies suggest that endometrial scratching may be as much as 70% more likely to result in a clinical pregnancy as opposed to no treatment (in patients with more than two prior failed cycles)."

    Take care, hun, and good luck! X

  • Thanks for the information all. I have spoken to our clinic who advised ok to proceed with the scratch privately if we want. So got prices and processes and it won't delay starting my next cycle which I was worried about.

    Thanks again.


  • I'm having one done oct, followed straight away the following month for my transfer. As much as I didn't want to delay a month, as the nurse said to me, all embryos are very precious and need to be treated that way, so if delaying a month to have something done that can massively increase chances of success then def worth the delay. Good luck, there not the nicest or things but over and done with in 30 seconds x

  • Yeah that's true. Do you have frozen embryos ready for transfer?

    We don't have any frozen so would need to start the process from the beginning again and we were told we would get it done around the same time as my down reg injection.

  • We have one little frozen one! But i've postponed till nov as got quite a bit on the next month or so with my hubby having a big op due to chrons disease. So hopefully come nov he will be ok and then can look after me a little as he feels bad that he wouldn't beable to during sept/oct. tbh i'm scared stiff about the transfer but think thats my past history more than anything. Sounds about the right timing with your scratch. Wishing you the best of luck x

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