You may be considering how you can thicken your uterine lining for IVF preparation. A healthy uterine lining is crucial for conception and for supporting an early pregnancy. I like to think of the uterine lining as a big, plump and comfy duvet that’s all ready for an embryo to nestle down in to and implant.
A ‘too thin’ uterine lining (or endometrium) can be a serious problem during an IVF cycle and can lead to an IVF cycle being cancelled. If an IVF cycles goes ahead, then there is an increased risk of failed implantation or early miscarriage.
How thick does my uterine lining need to be?
During your IVF cycle, your endometrium thickness will be carefully monitored by ultrasound scan. Generally, a uterine lining for IVF of 9mm or greater is the best possible nourishing environment for the embryo.
What are the causes of a thin uterine lining?
- There are several reasons why a woman might be told she has a thin uterine lining and this can include:
- Inflammation of the uterine lining (endometritis)
- A condition called adenomyosis
- Uterine fibroids or polyps
- Uterine adhesions caused by previous trauma or infection
- Estrogen deficiency
- Poor blood flow to the uterus
- Repeated use of clomid (for longer than 3 months)
Medical Treatments to thicken your uterine lining for IVF
Your doctor may recommend a supplementary course of estrogen therapy to support your endometrium. This is usually taken in the form of pills, patches or suppositories. An alternative is Gonal-F treatment to prompt your body to make more of its own estrogen.
Natural Treatments to thicken your uterine lining for IVF
There are however natural treatments you can consider to help thicken the uterine lining for IVF as well as taking the medication prescribed by your doctor. These include:
- Enjoying moderate exercise (not high intensity) to increase your heart rate and promote good oxygenated blood flow to the uterus.
- Reduce your caffeine intake to promote good circulation
- Avoid using seasonal allergy medication or cold remedies as these are designed to constrict blood flow.
- Consider acupuncture
- Try fertility massage to improve blood flow to the uterus
- Make sure you are a healthy weight as a low BMI can reduce estrogen levels
- Take the right supplements for you – there is some evidence to suggest from a study in 2010 that the supplements Vitamin E and L-arginine improve uterine thickness in women with a thin endometrium.
Don’t worry if you’re struggling to thicken your uterine lining for IVF as women are still able to conceive with a thin lining. Do however talk to your doctor about your concerns and together you can decide on the best treatment options for you.