The uterus carries the baby in women during pregnancy. Basically, it has three layers, mainly innermost, middle and outer layer. And, the innermost layer of the uterus is called endometrium. It is important to have a thick endometrium or endometrial lining as it plays a crucial role in regulating your menstrual cycle and having a healthy pregnancy without any complications. A thick and strong endometrium which is also called the uterine lining is responsible for the proper implantation of fertilized eggs inside the uterus.
Some women have a thin endometrial lining and there can be several causes behind it. The estrogen hormone is extremely important to keep the endometrium thick and healthy. Less estrogen hormone levels is the most common cause of thin endometrium. If an endometrial lining or endometrium is a atleast 8 mm thick, then it is considered normal. However, if it is less than 7 mm, then it is considered as a thin endometrium. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Madhulika Sinha, Senior Consultant, Gynaecology, Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital, Dwarka, about the symptoms, causes and treatment for thing endometrial lining.
Thin endometrium symptoms
In a lot of cases, there are no symptoms of a thin endometrium and it gets diagnosed only through an ultrasound. As per Dr. Madhulika, women who have thin uterine lining can face some problems, and that includes symptoms such as:
1. Irregular menstrual cycle
Irregular menstrual cycle is one of the most common symptoms of a thin endometrium in a woman. Usually, the timings of the menstrual cycle are irregular if you have a thin endometrial lining. However, do not take out conclusions if you have an irregular menstrual cycle and consult the doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
2. Painful menstruation
Along with irregular periods, you might also experience pain during menses. Painful menstruation is also another common sign of a thin endometrium. You can talk to your gynaecologist about treating this problem, if it persists for more than two menstrual cycles.
3. Fertility issues
Many women who have a thin endometrial lining may also have fertility problems. It is essential to have a thick and healthy endometrium for successful pregnancy. It is an important aspect that is required needed for egg implantation and growth of the fetus.
4. Inadequate bleeding during menses
Inadequate bleeding during menses is also another symptom of a thin uterine lining. Your periods may last for a lesser time than usual because the endometrial lining that should shed off is very thin and has lesser tissues that have to be released out during the menstrual cycle.
Causes of thin endometrial lining
According to Dr. Madhulika, here are the 5 main causes of thin endometrium:
1. Less blood flow
Sometimes, when the blood flow to endometrial lining is restricted, it can also lead to a thin endometrial lining. If the blood flow is restored, the symptoms also begin to subside. Therefore, inadequate blod flow in the body is a cause of thin uterine lining.
2. Low estrogen
Epithelial cells proliferate under the influence of estrogen hormone. It is responsible for the maintenance of thickness of epithelial cells in our endometrium which is restored after 5-7 days after menstruation. In case there is less production of that hormone, the endometrial lining remains thin.
3. Fibroids and myoma
Myoma and fibroids are thin layers of smooth muscles in the uterus. Around 10-20% tend to develop these thick muscles. They are usually benign but they grow using the estrogen produced and hinders the growth of epithelial lining in the uterus. Hence, fibroids are also a factor behind thin endometrium.
4. Chronic endometriosis
Chronic endometriosis can also be a reason for underdeveloped epithelial lining. Certain measures like hormone therapy and pain killers can be adopted to help the patient to ease the symptoms. Endometriosis is not fatal but it can impact your daily lifestyle, and lead to the under development of epithelial lining.
5. Damaged endometrial lining
Postpartum complications like bacterial infections can damage the inner lining of epithelial tissues. Excess bleeding can also lead to damaged epithelial lining which can trigger pain and throbbing in abdominal areas.
Thin endometrial lining treatment
The treatment for a thin endometrial lining mostly depends upon the cause. It is important to fix the factor behind a thin endometrium. The doctor will perform several tests for complete diagnosis in order to prescribe the required medication and treatment method. Here are some ways that can help in managing this condition:
Acupuncture is a therapy that can be used to eliminate the negative energies and stress levels in the body. Too much stress can also cause a thin endometrium. Therefore, it is important to reduce stress levels which can be done by acupuncture.
By doing regular exercise, you can improve the process of blood flow to the uterus. With an adequate blood circulation, the uterine muscles will improve, thus making the endometrium thick as well. You can choose any form of exercise including walking, running, cardio, pilates or yoga.
If there are any intrauterine adhesions causing the endometrial lining to be thin, then the doctor will perform a hysteroscopy. Through this procedure, the scar tissues can be removed which can lead to the thick and proper growth of the endometrial lining.
These were the symptoms, causes and treatment for a thin endometrium or thin endometrial lining by Dr. Madhulika Sinha. If you experience any above listed symptoms during your menstrual cycle, it is best to consult a doctor and get the necessary tests done for further medical treatment.
Image credits: Timesnow