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Endometrial Scratch

Gynaecology, Fertility

As yet, we still do not understand all of the causes for why couples are not able to conceive, even when egg and sperm are normal, they make a normal embryo and then sadly the pregnancy does not grow in the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium).

In fact, understanding how the endometrium and the embryo interact is the next big hurdle for fertility research (since we know how to create the embryo – in the process commonly referred to as In Vitro Fertilisation or IVF). Once we understand how the embryo settles into the endometrium and begins to grow we may have many better approaches to miscarriage and early pregnancy care.

One factor in this process seems to be chemicals in the endometrium that are released and communicate with the early embryo.  New research suggests that by “scratching” the endometrium with a thin plastic tube or biopsy forcep, the chemical conditions in the endometrium are more beneficial to an implanting embryo.

It is thought that a repair process begins and this allows the release of a group of chemicals called growth factors in the endometrium, and it is these chemicals that increase the chances of a pregnancy.  Scientists also believe that the “scratch” switches on certain genes that are responsible for the preparation of the endometrium that makes it more favourable to the embryo settling and growing.

So it looks like exfoliating is back in vogue!