What is Endometrium?
The uterus is where the fetus grows and develops. It has three linings- the outermost lining, the middle layer and the innermost lining. The innermost layer is called Endometrium. The endometrium is made of mucosal tissues.
How the endometrium changes and what is its function?
Before ovulation, when an egg is released, the functional layer of the endometrium undergoes a change. Vascularization takes place i.e. a buildup of blood vessels and tissues that thickens the endometrium in anticipation of implantation of a fertilized egg. If conception does not take place, the tissues and cells are shed from the endometrium lining. This is when a woman gets her period.
When conception does take place, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the endometrium. The endometrium also supports the placenta, which provides the fetus with oxygen and nutrition.
What is the ideal thickness of the endometrium?
In pre-menopausal women, the thickness of the endometrium should be-
• Between 2-4 millimetres during menstruation,
• 5-7 millimetres at the onset of the early proliferative phase
• Around 11 millimetres during the late proliferative phase
• 16 millimetres during the secretory phase
What is a poor/thin endometrium?
If the endometrium lining does not meet standard thickness and is not conducive to implantation, it is called a poor endometrium.
Causes behind thin endometrium
There could be many reasons that can lead to a poor endometrial layer-
• Inadequate secretion of estrogen
• Insufficient blood flow
• Prolonged use of birth control pills
• Substandard quality of endometrial tissues
• Presence of fibroids (small uterine tumours)
• Amenorrhea (unnatural periods/ excess bleeding or too little bleeding)
• Intrauterine adhesions (scar tissues form between the layers of the uterus and glue them together)
• Pelvic inflammatory disease
• Use of clomiphene
What are the symptoms of poor endometrium?
Treatment for poor endometrium
• Since the most common cause of poor endometrium is insufficient estrogen, doctors prescribe estrogen pills that can raise estrogen levels.
• If poor endometrium is the result of poor blood flow, an Ultrasonography Test will reveal that. Then doctors prescribe Vitamin E pills and L-arginine amino acid pills to thicken the endometrium layer.
• Regular exercising increases blood flow to the uterus
• Acupuncture is a very effective stress buster. Chronic stress could lead to a shrunk uterine wall. Acupuncture can allay the stress and promote the health of the uterus.
• Intrauterine adhesions can be extracted through surgery.
• Natural remedy (through natural therapy) includes asparagus, royal jelly, cover and they help in thickening the endometrium layer.
• Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor if injected into the body raises endometrial thickness and combats infertility.
Only an endometrium of normal thickness can support a pregnancy. If the lining is not thick enough medical intervention may be necessary.