Endometrial Scratch Trial

What is the Endometrial Scratch Trial?

The Endometrial Scratch trial is a randomised controlled trial aiming to assess the effectiveness of local endometrial trauma (also known as “endometrial scratch”) on the success of IVF (in vitro fertilisation)

The study is funded by a £1.3 million grant from the National Institute for Health Research's HTA Programme. The Chief Investigator for the study is Mostafa Metwally, a consultant here at Jessop Fertility.

The trial will start in July 2016 in Sheffield and will continue until December 2018.

What is the research about?

Taking a small amount of tissue from the lining of the womb (endometrium) can sometimes improve the chance of achieving a pregnancy in women who have previously had several unsuccessful attempts at In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This procedure has been named “Endometrial Scratch” (ES). It is not known exactly why performing an Endometrial Scratch may be beneficial, but it is thought that the process of “scratching” the lining of the womb may release certain chemicals that are important in helping the fertilised egg (embryo) stick to the lining of the womb (implantation).

The use of Endometrial Scratch has not yet been fully tested in women who are about to have IVF/ICSI for the first time, but similar trials have used the same technique in women undergoing IVF/ICSI for the second or subsequent time, with beneficial results. If found to be beneficial then it could be used to improve the chance of achieving a pregnancy for a large group of women without the need for repeated IVF attempts.

Who can take part in the trial?

Women who are 37 or younger and who are having IVF or ICSI for the first time will be asked if they would like to take part in the trial. If you are having treatment at Jessop Fertility and are interested in taking part then please ask the nurse or doctor you see on your next appointment for more information. 

What are the possible benefits?

Taking part in this trial may or may not improve the chances of achieving a pregnancy. However, information from this trial may help doctors understand if there is any benefit to offering this procedure to women having first time IVF/ICSI on achieving a pregnancy in the future

How can I take part in the trial and what is involved?

If you are coming to Jessop Fertility for your first IVF or ICSI cycle then you may be asked if you would like to take part. We will give you information in writing and verbally about what is involved. If you decide you would like to be a part of this exciting study then you will complete a consent form and will be randomly allocated to either receive the endometrial scratch followed by your planned “usual” IVF or ICSI treatment, or to just receive your “usual” IVF or ICSI with no other interventions.

Where can I find out more information?

Please ask your nurse or doctor on your next visit. You can also watch a short video about the trial, or have a look at our patient information leaflet (below).

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