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Our Research

The Auckland University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is based on the 12th floor in Auckland City Hospital. 

The department has a strong research base. It houses the Research Centre in Reproductive Medicine and the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Sub-fertility Review Group.The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology exists to improve the reproductive health of all women and the welfare of their babies. This is achieved through advancement of knowledge, encouragement and conduct of research, education, leadership and innovation in health care.

You can find more information on current research here.


25 Latest News Articles
6:28 a.m. Wednesday November  25, 2015

Having a baby is an important goal for many couples; however1/6 couples will have trouble conceiving and can be defined as being subfertile.

Endometrial scratching has been suggested as a possible fertility treatment in women undergoing embryo transfer as part of an IVF cycle. Endometrial scratching is similar to a smear test, and can be achieved using a thin plastic catheter called a pipelle. The pipelle procedure takes 1-2 minutes and involves inserting the pipelle through the cervix into the womb and gently moving the pipelle back and forth to obtain a sample of the endometrium (lining of the womb).

More recently some research suggests this procedure can also be beneficial in couples who are trying to conceive from simpler fertility treatments and even in couples trying to get pregnant from intercourse alone.

However, the evidence for the benefit of pipelle scratching is limited and more research is needed. If this procedure is found to be beneficial, it will provide a cost-effective method of helping subfertile women and couples to conceive.

The Pipelle for Pregnancy (PIP) studies are three separate randomised controlled trials of endometrial pipelle scratching in different groups of participants:


In women undergoing IVF/ICSI/embryo transfer


In couples with unexplained infertility trying to conceive from sex only


In couples with subfertility related to polycystic ovarian syndrome who are on ovulation induction medication and trying to conceive from sex only

All three PIP studies are randomised controlled trials. This means that women who take part in the study are randomly allocated to either undergo the pipelle procedure, or not. The women are then followed to see if they get pregnant, and their pregnancies are followed to birth.

The PIP studies have been recruiting in Auckland since June 2014 and are now recruiting across New Zealand, and additionally at centres in Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Belgium and Sweden.

There is more information about the PIP studies on our website:

If you have any questions about the PIP studies, would like some more information, or are interested in taking part, please get in touch with the PIP studies coordinator.

Sarah Lensen – PIP studies coordinator

09 923 9487

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