Normal Endometrium Thickness In Pregnancy

4 min read

All of us are aware of the importance of a uterus in a woman’s body. We are familiar with the way it works and what it can do. But how many of us are familiar with the endometrium? Do you know what the normal endometrium thickness for pregnancy is? Come, let’s dig deeper into this.

female reproductive system

What is Endometrium?

The endometrium is the tissue that lines the insides of a uterus. It is made up of two layers. The first layer, called the stratum basalis, attaches itself to the muscle tissue of the uterus and remains unchanged.

The second layer, called the stratum functionalis, is the functional layer of the endometrium is where a fertilized egg implants itself after conception. Hence this layer plays a crucial role in pregnancies.

What is Normal Endometrium Thickness?

The endometrial lining thickens every month in preparation for pregnancy and if there is no pregnancy, it sheds this lining which is called menstruation.

So, what is normal endometrial thickness? Can endometrial thickness indicate early pregnancy?

A normal endometrial thickness can range anywhere between 2 mm to 16 mm during the course of one menstrual cycle. It thickens as ovulation occurs and reaches its thickest just before the egg is released.

Remember, the endometrial thickness varies from person to person and there is no one limit to go by. Your age, medical history, and other treatments can interfere with the thickness of the endometrium.

If there is a pregnancy, this endometrial lining will thicken further to support the pregnancy; else it will be shed during menstruation. The endometrial thickness helps in determining which stage of a menstrual cycle the female is in.

Menstrual cycle

Is Endometrium Thickness a Sign of Pregnancy?

Yes, when the endometrial thickness is more than average, it can indicate a possible pregnancy. This can happen at the onset of pregnancy (before week 5) or if it is an ectopic pregnancy. After week 5 one can confirm the pregnancy with a sonogram. The endometrial thickness in early pregnancy is one of the factors that help your doctor decide if it is a healthy pregnancy or not.

However, there are cases where even when a sonogram shows the normal endometrial thickness for pregnancy, though it is not pregnancy but some other issue with the uterus.

Some of the reasons for unusual endometrial thickness can be:

  1. Endometrial Polyps
  2. Diabetes
  3. High Blood Pressure (chronic)
  4. Scar Tissue
  5. Obesity
  6. Endometrial Hyperplasia

When the endometrium crosses the normal endometrial thickness for pregnancy, it can indicate a very high level of estrogen and not enough progesterone in the body. A thick endometrium naturally increases the normal uterine thickness as this is a layer attached to the uterus.

A thin endometrium is not good news either. This also points to a hormonal imbalance in the body. A thin endometrium will not be able to support a pregnancy to term.

Other Problems:

So, what if your endometrium is not at the normal endometrial thickness for pregnancy? Why is a thick endometrium such a concern?

  • Endometrial hyperplasia is a condition where the endometrium is very thick. This can result in infertility and problems in conceiving.
  • When your endometrium shows more than the normal endometrial thickness for pregnancy, it can lead to cancer. This might require you to even consider a hysterectomy.
  • Excessive thickening beyond the normal endometrial thickness for pregnancy can result in anemia. Anemia can cause various other health issues in addition to making the person feel light-headed.
  • Spotting or bleeding in between menstrual cycles.
  • It might prevent you from participating in activities you used to enjoy before knowing about this condition.
  • Very heavy bleeding during menstruation, called menorrhagia can also happen.

Endometrial hyperplasia and Normal Endometrium

Can Endometrial Thickness be Treated?

When your endometrium crosses the normal endometrial thickness for pregnancy, you are bound to search for an effective endometrial thickness treatment. Here are a few that can help you:

  • Your doctor might give you progestin. This is a female hormone that can prevent ovulation, thus keeping the endometrial thickness in check.
  • Sometimes a hormonal replacement therapy can be given. This helps in replacing the female hormones that the body is not producing as required. However, this is not a long-term solution for endometrial thickness, as it might lead to heart diseases, breast cancer, etc.
  • As mentioned earlier, a hysterectomy may be suggested if there is even a risk of cancer.
  • Endometrial thickening can cause vaginal dryness and using a vaginal cream can help alleviate your discomfort.

Though these hormonal treatments and supplements can help reduce the thickening of your endometrium, these are not long-lasting treatments.

The more you ignore or leave your endometrial hyperplasia, the more risky the outcome can be. It is advisable to get it checked by your doctor and follow their advice. Also, remember to not stay on hormone-altering medications beyond the prescribed time limit. This can result in severe side effects.

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