The endometrial lining of the uterus plays a key role in fertility. Any abnormality in the thickness of the uterine lining could lessen the chances of conception, which can be frustrating if you are planning to have a baby. However, with the many fertility treatments available today, there is hope for the couples dealing with it.
In this post, MomJunction tells you about the issues associated with the endometrium lining, its symptoms, and the ways to deal with it to improve the chances of conception.
The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus where the implantation of the embryo takes place (1). It comprises a single-layered prismatic epithelium and cell-rich connective tissue with blood vessels that surround the uterine glands. The single-layered prismatic epithelium consists of three types of cells: secretory cells, cells with cilia, and basal cells.
The endometrium undergoes various morphological and functional changes during menarche. As the level of sex hormones changes in the body during ovulation, the thickness of the endometrial lining also changes to enable the implantation of the fertilized egg. If fertilization doesn’t happen, then the endometrium lining (functional layer) sheds, leading to menstrual flow.
Note: The morphology and thickness of the endometrium remain constant before puberty and in menopause.
The endometrium looks like a stripe on an MRI or ultrasound scan. The stripe refers to the appearance and thickness of the endometrium lining that changes during the menstrual cycle.
Here is how the endometrium changes during the menstrual cycle (2):
The following section explains the thickness of the endometrium during various stages of the menstrual cycle.
Here is how the endometrium stripe’s thickness varies at different stages of the menstrual cycle in premenopausal women.
The endometrium thickness must be greater than 8mm for normal pregnancy (3). The pregnancy rate is negatively affected when the stripe’s thickness is less than 7mm (4).
Both pregnant and non-pregnant women can have an abnormally thickened endometrium due to various reasons (5).
In pregnant women, thickened endometrium could be due to:
In non-pregnant women, it could be because of:
The symptoms of an abnormally thick endometrium lining, also known as endometrial hyperplasia, include (7):
For further diagnosis, consult your doctor.
Transvaginal ultrasound helps in identifying abnormal endometrium thickness. If you experience abnormal bleeding, which is uncontrollable by medication, then this diagnostic test is suggested (6).
Abnormal thickening of the endometrium can be treated with progestin. It is given orally, as an injection, through an intrauterine device, or in the form of vaginal cream. The side-effects of progestin include vaginal bleeding, similar to that of the menstrual period (6).
Apart from thickening, endometrium lining could also become thinner than usual, yet another problem faced by many women. Find out more about it next.
Thin endometrium results from the impairment of the normal growth of the endometrial tissues. Its causes include (6):
These abnormalities can show up as various symptoms during your menstrual cycle. If you are dealing with the thinning of the endometrium, there are various methods to rectify the issue.
The thickness of the endometrium can be increased naturally by maintaining a balanced estrogen level. It can be achieved by ( (8) Pg 27, 166),
Engaging in moderate exercises like walking and yoga that help in pumping more blood in your body.Following a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight. Add cod liver oil, spirulina, and wheatgrass to your diet.Avoiding environmental estrogen, which is found in birth control pills and beauty products.
The alternative methods mentioned below can also be used for increasing the endometrial thickness (6).
Next, we address a few commonly asked questions about endometrial thickness.
Yes. Endometrial thickness can indicate early pregnancy, be it normal or abnormal (ectopic). Most normal intrauterine pregnancies occur when the endometrium has a thickness of 13-25mm (9).
Usually, a thickness >25mm is considered too much as it results in abnormal pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy.
Endometrium lining issues are no longer untreatable these days. The ongoing research in the field of infertility has developed various alternatives for treating the problem, giving hope to the couples who have trouble becoming parents naturally.
Have you any experiences to share? Please share them in the comments section below.
Postgraduate in Chemistry and content writer. She has worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company and also holds a diploma in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. She is a writer for MomJunction and aims at providing informative articles based on health and wellness. Apart from writing, she takes a great interest in music and traveling. know more about her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreeja-pillai/
Incnut Incnut Incnut
2019 Powered By Home and Garden Tips