Emdometrial scratch on first round of IVF??

I have a dilemma, I've been asked if I want to do an endometrial scratch in the cycle before I do IVF. Apparently this helps the lining of the womb prepare for implantation however there are no statistics (or enough info about risks) for me to be 100% confident with it. Esp not for the first round of IVF. Also being told I will be on a long protocol (starting the bursellin in 21 days from when AF arrives, any day now) would mean missing a cycle to try naturally as apparently you can fall pregnant whilst on the down regulator injections. It's a real challenging decision as the idea of loosing a month of trying naturally whilst waiting for next period and to start stims is a killer!! Does anyone have any advice or info or first hand experience on this?

21 Replies

  • Haven't has it but apparently very painful!!x

  • Hi hopefulanna I didn't have endo scrach which I was thinking to use with my this gone sec cycle . I talk to doctor before we start and she said that is usually in first cycle they preferred not to use any extras ...to see how u respond . This cycle she only recommend to use embryo glue and we went with what she said . They saying that u got more chances when u do endo scrach ...is like a smear test. If u decide to go throug they need to do it on day 21 . Normally u should start from nasal spray for couple weeks (if u long protocol) and then is your first scan how u responding and if u ready to start injections . Injections in my case was for 8 or 9 days then scan again and if they got the sizes they want 17 then they gonna tell u when to do final trigger . After 36 h u go as come for EC . Then from that they will tell u how they doing how many was fertilise and u may have transfer day 3 or day 5 . Xx

  • I had it for this current cycle I'm on. My first failed cycle it didn't get to transfer as our 1 and only egg didn't fertilise. Doctor recommended it as said it improves chances of implantation so I had it done. Not nice I must admit but only lasts a couple of minutes and worth it if it works! X

  • I have had one and it's no more painful than a smear test, just a bit uncomfortable and lasts less than a minute. It is widely accepted that it helps implantation and worst case is that it doesn't help, but it can't hurt. To be honest I don't know why it isn't standard procedure, I think it is if you've had two failed cycles, which to me just says that it's something that increases your chances. Your consultant should advise on whether they think you should do it and they are the experts. Good luck with your decision :)

  • It's been offered on my first go (at a cost) but from what I've read, it's usually offered after a failed round of IVF. My dilemma is that if we go for it, we'd lose a month of trying naturally this cycle :-(

  • It was offered on my first round too. I know you're saying you'd lose of month of trying naturally so it sounds like you have to decide what gives you the greatest chance of success - another month of trying naturally or enhancing your chance of successful ivf. Unfortunately you're the only person who can decide, based on what feels right for you. I decided to have it and I was lucky enough to get pregnant, but only you know your own history and what feels best for you. Whatever decision you make I wish you all the best for success x

  • You've hit the nail on the head! I'm just finding it so hard to decide what to do :-(

    I've not been given % chances on one verses the other and so have no idea what is best. Feeling really low about it as I know it's all looming and will need to decide very soon.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy by the way. That's amazing news!! Where were you treated? How did you find the scratch? X

  • Thank you! I'm in Belfast and had the same consultant that had also treated me for endometriosis so he knew my history and I felt really comfortable with him. The whole process is stressful so you're probably just feeling it in general. Maybe the other thing you could ask yourself is if you go ahead without the scratch and you're not successful, will you feel that you didn't give yourself every chance? For me I was pretty unlikely to fall pregnant naturally anyway so just went with it. Wouldn't it be nice if it was straightforward and we didn't have to make all these smaller decisions about treatment! It's so individual though, there really is no right answer that fits everybody. Xx

  • Hi DC5867 you sound like you have a sensible head on your shoulders and have some good advice. Its true, i think I would always wonder either way and i guess this is one of those tricky ones that we will have to get our heads around. I am going to have a good think about it and chat to husband tonight and over the weekend. And yes i keep thinking the same, it would be so nice not to have to think about any of this or make any decisions ir be in this situation but I am trying to accept that we are and this is all part of the process, rather than fighting it which just makes me upset, angry and sad.

    Thanks for your advice and support xx

  • It's easy to be sensible for someone else or when you're a bit further down the line. You'll get there, just be kind to yourself in the meantime. Xx

  • Sorry didn't answer your question - scratch was fine. It lasts about a minute and feels similar to a smear. So a bit uncomfortable but over quickly. I didn't have any bleeding or cramping after. Much easier than EC process!

  • Hi HopefulAnna. Just thought i would go through the process of endo scratch before you do decide. However, it would mean a delay in your treatment cycle. 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 should not be too 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. Obviously I do wish you well with whatever you do decide, and of course for success. Diane

  • Thanks Diane, I understand the process and it's a great proceedure. Also, as I am on a long protocol, the end-to-end treatment cycle remains the same (approx 2 months) as id have to have the endo scratch in the cycle when I start down regulators (so later this month if I come on this week) then stims and actual EC/ET next month. The issue is, if I have an endometrial scratch this cycle then there is no way to fall pregnant naturally this month as you aren't allowed to have unprotected sex before having it, which make me feel very sad. Apparently, if I don't have it, we can try naturally this month (even whilst on bursellin) and then carry on with stims and EC/ET in November if we didn't fall pregnant. It's just a tough call and not sure which way to go :-(

  • I paid for an endo scratch on my first cycle so had it done privately. There is lots of good research out there that it helps and more studies are going on all of the time! I was always hoping that I might fall myself before treatment but the chances of it happening were very slim. Unfortunately I didnt have any embyos to put back after my first cycle but Im planning on doing another scratch prior to my next round.x

  • Thanks for sharing your story, I guess I just need to weigh it all up in my mind. So hard :-(

  • Here is an article on a study they are doing in Sheffield just now. Previous studies sure have given some promising results which is why they have been given funding for this. Hope it helps!x


  • Thank you for sharing this. The hospital I am under high recommends and encourages it but didn't have any stats to share with me so its left me feeling very unsure about it. This is a great help and sounds promising. I will show this to my husband and perhaps we can decide what to do this weekend. Wishing you all the luck with your next cycle. When will that be? x

  • Hi HopefulAnna. I really believe that anything that could help with implantation is worth it. We just haven't got that magic "sticky stuff" to keep our little embryos on board, so I know I would be trying it. I hope you and your husband can soon get yours heads round it all and come to some decision soon. Thinking of you. Diane

  • Thank you! Im due my next one in October. Im a serial googler so have done lots of my own research! My husband thinks Im a nightmare! lolx

  • Thanks for sharing this - I didn't realise the success rates were so high?!

  • Hi. I have just had my day 21 down reg and a scratch on Friday past.

    We are on our second cycle after our first failed. There was no change to our treatment plan as we only failed at implantation. We spoke to our consultant and she said at this stage it's still quite new but nothing to say any high risks. So we decided to have it done. We are looking at it as if it does fail again we have tried absolutely everything we could. As this is our last NHS funded cycle.

    It was not pleasant but in no way sore. And didn't take long at all. It just made me feel a bit sick whilst they were doing it. But I reckon it's because she done it twice "just to make sure" haha.

    Everyone is different. It's hard to make these decisions as you just don't know but can only do what's right for you.


You may also like...