The quality and thickness of the uterine lining are important factors in your fertility. A healthy uterine lining is essential for growing a healthy baby. It is where the embryo implants and nourishes the growth and development of the baby during pregnancy. Implantation and sustaining a pregnancy can be more difficult if the lining is too thin. This holds true for both natural conception and IVF/IUI (in-vitro fertilization and intra-uterine insemination).
Data examining endometrial thickness and pregnancy rates from over 25,000 IVF cycles was collected from over nine years and analyzed. Live birth rates more than doubled with an endometrial thickness of 10mm. Statistical modeling has demonstrated maximum live birth rates and minimal pregnancy loss with an endometrial thickness of 10mm or more. However, there are some variations. Women have successfully conceived with a 7mm lining.
A thin endometrium may be from high blood flow impedance to the uterine arteries as uterine blood flow is an important factor in endometrial growth. Irregular periods, low estrogen, and the fertility drug, Clomid, are also associated with a thin uterine lining, especially if used multiple times.
- 8-12 mm endometrial thickness at mid-cycle, measured by ultrasound
- Good blood flow
- Evenly distributed
What can you do to improve your uterine lining?
A healthy uterine lining helps women get pregnant and secure implantation. Here are holistic, integrative measures to help.
Food is direct nourishment for our bodies! Focusing on blood nourishing food builds our entire bodies and can help to specifically build a healthy uterine lining:
- Healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, and avocados (rich in Vitamin E)
- Dark leafy green veggies (rich in iron)
- Soybeans (edamame, tempeh, tofu), beans, and fish/poultry products (rich in L-arginine which helps to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow)
- If you eat animal products, red meat (high in iron). Choose organic, hormone free.
- Iron (Floradix is easily absorbable and typically does not cause constipation)
- Fish oil (essential fatty acids)
- Vitamin E (400-600 IU/day has been clinically proven to improve endometrial thickness, glandular epithelial growth, development of blood vessels and vascular endothelial growth factor protein expression in the endometrium)
- L-arginine (6 g/day, up to 4x/day, – given from day 1 of menses until hCG triggered ovulation induction-increases hepatic and limb blood flow)
- Acupuncture– excellent for improving blood flow (circulation) to the uterus and ovaries, supporting hormone balance, reducing stress, and supporting implantation. It is most effective 2-3 months prior to IVF and twice weekly treatments have been clinically demonstrated to improve the endometrial lining. Don’t worry if you did not start in-time, just get started as soon as you can.
- Daily exercise- just 30 minutes/day can help with stress reduction, improve overall circulation, and especially blood flow to the uterus.
- Stress reduction- stress affects the free flow of energy in our bodies. When we relax, our whole being- muscles, ligaments, and the uterine arteries relax. Yoga, Qi gong and meditation are excellent mind/body practices for stress reduction. We love Circle + Bloom fertility meditations.
- Rest! Rest is essential for combating stress and helps with healthy hormone regulation.
- Stay warm. Place a hot water bottle on your lower abdomen from menses until ovulation, make sure to wear socks, and keep your midriff covered. Consume warming foods and beverages. Ask your acupuncturist about an adjunct therapy called moxibustion.
Contact Wild Rose Fertility for all your fertility needs and concerns!
Gallos, I. D., Khairy, M., Chu, J., Rajkhowa, M., Tobias, A., Campbell, A., Dowell, K., Fishel, S., & Coomarasamy, A. (2018). Optimal endometrial thickness to maximize live births and minimize pregnancy losses: Analysis of 25,767 fresh embryo transfers. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 37(5), 542–548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.08.025
Hashemi, Z., Sharifi, N., Khani, B., Aghadavod, E., & Asemi, Z. (2017). The effects of vitamin E supplementation on endometrial thickness, and gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and inflammatory cytokines among women with implantation failure. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 32(1), 95–102. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767058.2017.1372413
Li, F., Lu, H., Wang, X., Zhang, Q., Liu, Q., & Wang, T. (2021). Effectiveness of electroacupuncture for thin endometrium in infertile women: Study protocol for a single-blind, randomized controlled trial. Trials, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05029-7
Takasaki, A., Tamura, H., Miwa, I., Taketani, T., Shimamura, K., & Sugino, N. (2010). Endometrial growth and uterine blood flow: A pilot study for improving endometrial thickness in the patients with a thin endometrium. Fertility and Sterility, 93(6), 1851–1858. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.12.062