Thick or thin?
During menstruation, the body goes through several changes to prepare for pregnancy. One particular change is the sudden thickening of the endometrium. The endometrium is an inner lining that coats the uterus made of blood vessels, tissue, and muscle cells. A thick endometrial lining prepares the uterus for the embryo. The excess blood and tissue shed during a woman’s period if fertilization does not occur. A thin endometrium may fail to provide the support and nutrients for the embryo. Studies also show that a thin endometrium can significantly reduce the chances of a full-term pregnancy.
Does it affect IVF success?
The fertility team will assess the endometrial lining using ultrasound as part of the IVF program. A healthy lining should be at least 7-12mm thick. Anything below this figure is considered a thin endometrial lining. Even a lining of 8mm significantly reduces the chances of IVF. Similarly, a lining of 7mm can negatively affect frozen embryo transfer (FET). Carrying a baby to term with a thin endometrium is possible. However, with IVF, failure has a high financial and emotional cost. To avoid this, the clinic will help the patient improve uterine health.
Getting the right treatment
A doctor or fertility specialist will try to find the root cause of the thin lining. A previous condition, infection, or scarring can cause a thin lining in some cases. Other conditions like poor estrogen production or fibroids can impact the uterine lining. These issues can be addressed with medication or surgery. Once the situation is addressed, some lifestyle changes can help improve blood flow. A proper diet, exercise, acupuncture, and supplements all combine to enhance endometrial health.
A silver lining
The success of IVF depends on several moving parts. If the uterine lining is below 7mm, the chances of success can fall. Doctors recommend that patients get a full reproductive health check before starting IVF. With this information, patients can start treatment or make health changes beforehand. Together with a healthcare specialist, addressing this issue ensures the best results.