Endometrial Lining: Normal & Abnormal Thickness, Remedies – Verywell Health

Rebecca Valdez is a registered dietitian nutritionist and nutrition communications consultant, passionate about food justice, equity, and sustainability.
Anita Sadaty, MD, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology. She is a clinical assistant professor at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and founder of Redefining Health Medical.
The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus. It plays an important role in women’s reproductive health. The uterine lining changes throughout the month, along with the menstrual cycle, in response to your body’s reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
Sometimes, the endometrial lining is abnormally thick or thin, which can impact your ability to become pregnant and can cause irregular bleeding. Becoming familiar and understanding this changing organ in your body can help you take steps to ensuring that you have a healthy endometrial lining.
Verywell / Jessica Olah
The main function of the endometrial lining is during a woman's reproductive years. This inner lining of the uterus begins to thicken to prepare for an embryo to implant, or for pregnancy to occur. If pregnancy occurs, the lining helps to maintain the pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, the lining sheds (you get your period), and the process begins again for the following cycle.

The endometrial lining is located in the innermost layer of the uterus, a hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis.
When you do not become pregnant after ovulation, the estrogen and progesterone levels in your body drop rapidly, which initiates the start of your menstrual cycle. At the start of your menstrual cycle, your body discards the buildup of your endometrial lining, a mix of blood and tissues, which passes through the cervix and exits your body through the vagina. This process can take several days and is most often referred to as your period.
Hormone levels in the body begin to rise again after your period, which initiates changes to the endometrial lining. During the follicular or proliferative phase, estrogen signals for the cells lining the endometrium to multiply and for blood vessels to grow to supply the new layers of cells. At this time, ovulation occurs (an egg is released from one of the ovaries).
Following ovulation, the secretory phase begins, initiated by an increase of the hormone progesterone. Specialized glands in the endometrium begin to secrete nutrients that will nourish an embryo. This thickening of the lining and supply of blood and nutrients prepares the uterine lining for implantation, when a fertilized embryo attaches to the uterine wall. During pregnancy, the endometrial lining continues to thicken to support the growing baby.
Some people may have health conditions that affect the endometrial lining. Different types of therapies, such as hormone replacement therapy or in vitro fertilization (IVF), may be used to improve the condition of the uterine lining if it is too thick or too thin for implantation and pregnancy.
Menopause is the period of time 12 consecutive months after a woman’s last menstrual cycle. This can occur with age (typically between ages 45 and 55), or be triggered by a hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus) or surgery that removes the ovaries. Because there is no cyclical rise and fall of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone during menopause, the uterine lining is relatively stable during this time.
"Normal" endometrial thickness varies from person to person, as well as throughout the person's lifecycle. What is normal for an individual will change during childhood, throughout menstruation, during the reproductive years, and after menopause. Health conditions and medical treatments such as hormone replacement therapy can also affect the thickness of the endometrial lining.
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) provides the following ranges for "normal" endometrial thickness during:
There are various health conditions that affect your endometrial lining, including:
If your endometrial lining is too thick, it could be causing you a great deal of discomfort, including abdominal and pelvic pain, or very heavy bleeding during menstruation. If it is too thin, it may prevent you from getting pregnant. Both conditions can be very stressful. However, there are some steps you can take to manage symptoms and conditions related to your endometrial lining.
A healthy, well-balanced diet can be beneficial in fighting pain and inflammation, improve blood flow, and support hormonal balance. Overall, healthy diets are linked to better fertility and higher live birth rates, while poor-quality diets are linked to such endometrial conditions as endometriosis and endometrial cancer. A diet that supports healthy endometrial lining includes:
Reducing alcohol, caffeine, and foods high in sugar may also be beneficial. These substances are inflammatory and reduce blood flow.
Exercise may be beneficial in increasing blood flow to the uterine lining. It may also help decrease stress and pain from endometrial hyperplasia.
Supplements that studies have revealed may help improve blood flow to the uterus and may increase endometrial thickness include L-arginine and vitamin E.
Many studies cite acupuncture as a commonly used treatment to support women who are trying to get pregnant. One study has shown that acupuncture helped increase the success rate of IVF in study participants. It did not show, however, whether results were due to an increase in blood flow to the uterus, a reduction of stress and anxiety, or a change in immune function.
Hormones may be used to moderate the thickness of the endometrial lining. Progesterone may be used in hyperplasia to decrease endometrial thickness. Estrogen may be used to thicken the endometrial lining of if it is too thin. However, hormone treatments are associated with an increased risk of cancer.
If you do not want any future pregnancies, surgery such as a hysterectomy may be an option to discuss with your doctor. Surgery may also be considered if the tissue impacting endometrial thickness is structural, such as a fibroid or polyp. In these cases, surgery may be used to remove the obstruction.

The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus. The uterine lining changes throughout the month, along with the menstrual cycle. During a woman's reproductive years, the lining thickens to prepare for pregnancy to occur.
"Normal" endometrial thickness varies from person to person and fluctuates over time. What is normal for one person will change during childhood, throughout menstruation, during the reproductive years, and after menopause. Various health conditions can also affect the endometrial lining. Certain lifestyle factors, such as consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet, can help improve blood flow and decrease pain.

Your endometrial lining is important to your health, whether you are trying to get pregnant, notice changes to your menstrual cycle, or experience bleeding after menopause. You may try lifestyle or natural treatments to help with managing symptoms of thick endometrial lining or be a candidate for medical treatment to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Speak with your healthcare team to find the best treatment for managing symptoms or treating conditions related to your endometrial lining.

Uterine lining thickness is the thickest part of the endometrium. Thickness varies depending on the stage of a person's menstrual cycle. It is the thinnest after menstruation and thickest after ovulation.
A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein can help to build up your endometrial lining.
Endometrial thickness is measured in millimeters using an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
One study on infertile women showed that fertility stress was associated with reduced blood flow to the endometrium, which may impact the uterine lining.
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