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Treatment can improve in vitro fertilization success rate

A simple 15-minute procedure costing less than $166 has been shown to nearly double the success rate of in vitro fertilization treatment, a new study into the technique has found. The research has also shown that the procedure - known as endometrial scratching - increased the number of babies born as a result.

Gently scratching the lining of the womb in the month before IVF treatment was shown to increase the proportion of successful pregnancies to 49 per cent, compared with the current average of 29 per cent for women undertaking IVF treatment. The procedure - known as endometrial scratching - also increased the number of live births from 23 to 42 per cent. Dr. Nick Raine-Fenning of the Nottingham University Research and Treatment Unit said: "This is the first well-designed trial conducted into endometrial scratching and the results are promising.

"Other trials have provided anecdotal evidence, but these have been limited and many questioned the validity of the technique. We are now carrying out a followup study in Nottingham to provide further guidance into the use of endometrial scratching and early results are encouraging."

The trial involved 158 women who had previously received unsuccessful courses of reproductive treatment, which costs an average of 4,500 pounds (more than $7,400 Cdn) per cycle. Of the total number of patients, 77 received the scratching procedure between one and two weeks before treatment began. Of those 77 women, 39 achieved pregnancy, with 33 experiencing live births, compared with 23 live births in the control group. The procedure can be carried out by trained nurses in a clinic, using simple equipment already in use.

The results were presented at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology World Congress in Sydney on Sunday.

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