This is a procedure that involves “scratching” the lining of the uterus with a small instrument that is inserted through the cervix. It is simple to perform and requires no anaesthetic – for many patients, it is rather like having a smear test performed.
Research has shown that, in some women, causing a very minor injury to the inside of the uterus can provoke a healing reaction that may help embryos to attach during IVF/ICSI treatment. It is usually done about one week before the start of the treatment cycle, around cycle day 21, and may be combined with an hysteroscopy, to check for abnormalities of the insider of the uterus.
It doesn’t seem to be helpful in the first cycle of treatment, so this is usually done for patients who have previously undergone unsuccessful IVF at least once. The research is ongoing, however, to identify those who would benefit the most, and more information will become available in time.