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Reprod Biomed Online. 2012 Dec;25(6):561-71. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2012.08.005. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Endometrial injury to overcome recurrent embryo implantation failure: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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1
Leicester Fertility Centre, University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, UK. neelam.potdar@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract

Mechanical endometrial injury (biopsy/scratch or hysteroscopy) in the cycle preceding ovarian stimulation for IVF has been proposed to improve implantation in women with unexplained recurrent implantation failure (RIF). This is a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing the efficacy of endometrial injury versus no intervention in women with RIF undergoing IVF. All controlled studies of endometrial biopsy/scratch or hysteroscopy performed in the cycle preceding ovarian stimulation were included and the primary outcome measure was clinical pregnancy rate. Pooling of seven controlled studies (four randomized and three non-randomized), with 2062 participants, showed that local endometrial injury induced in the cycle preceding ovarian stimulation is 70% more likely to result in a clinical pregnancy as opposed to no intervention. There was no statistically significant heterogeneity in the methods used, clinical pregnancy rates being twice as high with biopsy/scratch (RR 2.32, 95% CI 1.72-3.13) as opposed to hysteroscopy (RR 1.51, 95% CI 1.30-1.75). The evidence is strongly in favour of inducing local endometrial injury in the preceding cycle of ovarian stimulation to improve pregnancy outcomes in women with unexplained RIF. However, large randomized studies are required before iatrogenic induction of local endometrial injury can be warranted in routine clinical practice. Some women undergoing IVF treatment fail to conceive despite several attempts with good-quality embryos and no identifiable reason. We call this 'recurrent implantation failure' (RIF) where the embryo fails to embed or implant within the lining of the womb. Studies have shown that inducing injury to the lining of the womb in the cycle before starting ovarian stimulation for IVF can help improve the chances of achieving pregnancy. Injury can be induced by either scratching the lining of the womb using a biopsy tube or by telescopic investigation of the womb using a camera. We performed a collective review of the available good-quality studies that used the above two methods in the cycle prior to starting ovarian stimulation for IVF. We pooled results from seven studies, which included 2062 women with RIF and assessed the difference in clinical pregnancy rates for those undergoing injury to the womb lining compared with no injury prior to IVF. The results suggest that inducing injury is 70% more likely to result in a clinical pregnancy as opposed to no treatment. Furthermore, scratching of the lining was 2-times more likely to result in a clinical pregnancy compared with telescopic evaluation of the lining of the womb. This study suggests that in women with RIF, inducing local injury to the womb lining in the cycle prior to starting ovarian stimulation for IVF can improve pregnancy outcomes. However, large studies are required before this can be warranted in routine clinical practice.

PMID:
23063812
DOI:
10.1016/j.rbmo.2012.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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