An endometrial scratch is a simple, out-patient procedure performed in the mid-luteal phase (second half) of a woman’s cycle, prior to beginning a cycle of IVF treatment. A fine catheter is placed in the uterus and ‘scratches’ the lining of the womb to cause a very superficial injury.

While this ‘scratch’ quickly heals with the next period, it is thought the procedure stimulates immune system cells – and therefore generating all-important growth factors – which makes the uterus more likely to accept an embryo.

It is mainly used for women who have experienced previous multiple unsuccessful IVF cycles, despite the transfer of good quality embryos. Currently there is conflicting evidence regarding the benefits of endometrial scratching.