A thick, healthy lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium is necessary for a healthy menstrual cycle and pregnancy. A fertilised egg needs the lining of the uterus to be a certain thickness to implant and begin growing.
A thin endometrium that exists in some patients is the leading cause of infertility or recurrent miscarriage. It is one of the reasons for early implantation defect in In-vitro fertilisation treatment. So what should you do if your endometrial lining is thin? In this article, I will discuss the causes of the thin endometrial lining, the natural things you can do to help your endometrial lining if it is light and the various medical therapies available. It is for you to learn how to build and protect a thick, healthy uterine lining naturally. There are many natural therapies to help increase the thickness and health of the uterine lining.
Many scholars describe the endometrium as the layer of the uterus that thickens in preparation for the implantation of the fertilised embryo. The endometrium is also the layer that sheds during menstruation. Estrogen is responsible for creating a thick, lush, and blood-rich endometrium. If estrogen levels are not adequate, the uterine lining will remain thin. A healthy, appropriate uterine lining is at least 8mm thick. Below that, doctors consider it inadequate to support embryo implantation.
What are the causes of a thin uterine lining?
There are five leading causes of a thin uterine lining
In our environment in term of priority they are:
Poor health of the endometrial tissue
Damage from infection, surgery or illness may cause damage to the tissues of the endometrium. This damage may also compromise blood flow of the endometrium as well as how the endometrium functions.
Dilation and Curettage (D&C Procedure)
D&C performed incorrectly may cause the removal of the basalis layer of the endometrium. Once this layer is gone, the endometrium cannot grow, the results of which is a variant of Ashermans Syndrome.
Women who have had a D&C have a 25 per cent risk of developing Ashermans between two to four weeks post-procedure. D&C performed for missed miscarriage have a 30.9 per cent chance of developing Ashermans, whereas women who have had a D&C due to an incomplete miscarriage only have a 6.4 per cent chance of developing Ashermans. Women who have had more than two D&C’s have an increased chance of developing Ashermans by 32 per cent. 90 per cent of all Ashermans cases are due to the D&C procedure.
Most researchers found “Endometrial thicknesses correlated to the number of previously performed D&C. Patients with a history of D&C had thinner endometrium in both measurements. The differences between endometrial thicknesses of two groups (with and without D&C history), were statistically meaningful in both measurements. Those, without D&C history, had thicker endometrium, one day before and 5-7 days after ovulation…”
Scar Tissue and Adhesion Damage
Scar tissue damage to the endometrium, with adhesions within the uterine cavity is known as Ashermans syndrome. There are different grades of severity. This type of injury can be a direct result of one of or a combination of the following:
- Reproductive organ surgery; laparoscopy, cesarean section
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Genital Tuberculosis
- Induced medical abortion
Infection and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Recurrent bacterial infections, sexually transmitted disease, or damage to the uterus may cause PID or pelvic inflammatory disease. The constant state of infection and inflammation can cause damage to the tissues and may result in scar tissue formation of the endometrium. When this happens, the endometrium may not be able to function as it should.
For the endometrium to thicken, it is reliant on adequate levels of estrogen. The entire menstrual cycle is dependent on sufficient levels of estrogen. Women with absent periods known as amenorrhea often have a thin uterine lining due to low levels of hormones.
The most common cause of low estrogen is perimenopause and menopause. It is entirely reasonable as hormone levels begin to decline as a woman ages. It can become a problematic and compromising situation if you are trying to have a baby, and it is not as common for women in their 20’s and 30’s, but more common in women over the age of 40.
If you are struggling to get pregnant or keep a pregnancy, it may be a good idea to have your estradiol levels tested and uterine thickness measured.
If it is determined you have a thin uterine lining, most doctors will prime the uterus with estrogen medications to see if the endometrium responds well and thickens. If this does not work, it then indicates that the blood flow is compromised, or the endometrial tissues are damaged.
Inadequate Blood Flow
There are a variety of reasons blood flow to the uterus is compromised. If the uterus is not receiving adequate blood flow, it may not be able to create a thick endometrium each month. Here are some reasons blood flow is reduced causing a thin uterine lining:
I am talking about little-to-no movement each day. Women who have desk jobs or sit all day are more likely to have compromised blood flow to the uterus.
Usually, the uterus should tilt forward, but in about 20 per cent of all women, the uterus tilts backward, or to one side. The malposition of the uterus may cause reduced circulation to the uterus.