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Endometrial Scratching

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36-year-old Jo Cummings is hearing the heartbeat of her first child after struggling to get pregnant for 3 and a half years.

"As you get older, you just feel that time is running out, there's lots of dark days where you think it's never gonna happen."

Jo says a simple procedure before her IVF treatment did the trick.

Doctors at Nottingham University used a technique called endometrial scratching.

"We put a little device through the neck of the womb, a bit like having a smear and take a sample - so it is straightforward and painless," says Dr. Nick Raine.

British and Brazilian scientists now say the optimal time to have the scratch is one month before IVF treatment.

They studied 158 women who had undergone unsuccessful fertility procedures. 77 received the scratch.

Scientists say in the women who had the procedure, the pregnancy rate jumped to 49% from 29%. And it nearly doubled the number of live births to 42% from 23%.

Doctors say they are not sure why the scratch works - but one theory is it wakes up the womb.

"By causing a little bit of damage, the womb has to sort of regenerate and fix itself."

Jo says the scratch was a bit painful, but well worth it as she waits anxiously for the birth of her baby boy.

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