It’s a popular IVF treatment and is marketed as a fertility booster – but now experts are saying this hundreds of dollars treatment is useless.
Endometrial scratching does not offer women a better chance of IVF success, according to the results of the largest and most comprehensive trial.
The controlled trial studied the results of 1364 women Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Sweden and Belgium who were undergoing embryo transfers.
“On the basis of this study, which is the biggest and most robust to date, we would encourage IVF clinics to stop offering it,” senior study author Cindy Farquhar, Postgraduate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland, said.
Endometrial scratching is similar to a pap smear and involves collecting a biopsy sample of a woman’s endometrium.
The concept is that slightly injuring a woman’s endometrium triggers an immune repair response that makes it more open to embryo implantation.
Even though there is no real evidence that the procedure makes any difference to the success of IVF, a recent survey revealed that 83 per cent of fertility clinicians in Britain, Australia and New Zealand offer or recommend endometrial scratching.
The survey also showed that women who have had multiple failed IVF transfers are most likely to be offered scratching, leading to claims that vulnerable clients are being taken advantage of for financial gain.