How to Thicken Your Uterine Lining Naturally
What can I do to improve my endometrial lining? What can I do to improve the lining of my uterus to help me get pregnant? That’s a very common question that I get asked, and I want to answer that question for all of you, so stay tuned and keep watching.
Hi, I’m Dr. Marc Sklar, The Fertility Expert, and I work with couples from all over the world, helping you get pregnant naturally. If you want my support as well, then make sure you subscribe and hit that bell so that I can help you, too.
Have you had trouble getting your lining thick? If so, comment below. Let me know. I want to know how many of you have had a difficult time increasing the lining of your endometrium. I also want to know how many of you thought it was really important to increase the lining of your endometrium to get pregnant. So, comment below. Let me know those answers.
So, now it’s time to get into the details about why your endometrial lining, your uterine lining, is so important for fertility and for implantation. To do that, and to be able to help you understand what you can do to improve it, we’ve got to get into the basics. You have to understand how the uterus works and what all the layers do in the endometrium.
So, first and foremost, I often just refer to it as the endometrium, but we have to understand that there’s three layers, okay? So, the uterus has three layers in it. The outer lining is called the serosa, the middle lining is called the myometrium, and then the innermost lining, which is the closest or the lining that actually gets used for implantation primarily, is called the endometrium. That’s the one we refer to the most, okay? But we are talking about all three layers, and when we’re talking about a good endometrial environment and a good lining, you got to think of it as a garden, right? You want the soil of a garden to be nice, soft, fluffy, easy for a seed to get in, easy for a seed to implant and get the roots burrowed in there, and then easy to water and nourish and support. Your endometrium is the same thing, or implantation, for that matter, is actually the same thing.
So, we want to create a nice, beautiful, thick, fluffy tissue for the embryo to implant and to burrow into to create a nice home. That’s how I want you to imagine. I want you to imagine it like it is a garden and you’re planting, and this is the same thing. So, when we’re looking at your lining, we want it to be thick, full of a healthy blood supply. It has what’s called the trilaminar look. It’s got those three layers that we’re looking for, as well.
So, this might not be something that you actually see or know about on your own if you’re trying naturally. It doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Often, when we start talking about these layers and the health of the endometrium, the health of the uterine environment and the tissue for implantation, this starts to become more of a conversation with couples and women who are going through IVF because that’s when they start to have more regular ultrasounds. They start to understand what it should look like and how theirs compares to that and what’s ideal.
So, if you’re not going through IUI or IVF and you’re trying naturally, don’t worry about it. It’s all okay. We’ll get into some of the signs and symptoms that might be an indicator if your lining is healthy or not, and if you might need a little bit more support with your endometrium. But just so you know, we are looking for a nice, thick trilaminar endometrium, and by thick, I mean at least eight millimeters or more. So, they measure the endometrium with ultrasound, and we’re looking for that to be nice and thick, okay?
Now, when we’re looking at that number, they’re just measuring from one end to the other, and ideally we’re looking at it to be eight or greater. It can be even as high as 12 or 14. We start to get concerned when that lining is thinner than that, when we have not eight, so maybe seven and a half, seven, six. I’ve had patients who it doesn’t go above five, five and a half, or six. That starts to be a concern because we’re not creating a thick enough endometrium to allow for a healthy implantation, right?
So, again, going back to the garden, think about your garden. If your garden soil is not thick enough, it doesn’t have all the different layers of soil, it doesn’t have that top soil that’s nice, dark, fluffy, has all the nutrients, has all the fertilizer, is easy to burrow into, then it’s going to be harder for that seed to grow and create whatever it is you’re planting. The same thing is true in your endometrium and in your uterus. So, we have to think of it the same way, and we want to provide that proper nourishment and nutrients, so that way we start to increase blood circulation, blood supply to it, and we can at least hit that eight-millimeter threshold or greater so that we create a healthy uterine environment for implantation.
So, the thinner the lining, the less of a chance we have for a successful implantation and successful pregnancy, which obviously is a concern and something that none of you watching want to be in that situation, right? We want to have a healthy environment so that we can achieve a healthy pregnancy.
So, what are the potential causes of a thin endometrium? Well, one of which we already talked about is poor blood supply, or a lack of good, healthy blood circulation to the uterus. Now, there are underlying causes for what might be contributing to that, but overall, I think we can all understand healthy blood circulation to the endometrium, to the uterus, should increase blood circulation to that area, should increase the lining itself, and should help with implantation. But what are some causes of that? All right, so let’s go into some of the causes of a thin endometrium.
First and foremost, estrogen. Low estrogen levels can be a cause for why you’re not getting a lining that’s thick enough. That’s right. Your estrogen levels, if you remember from any of my previous videos, is important because it helps to nurture the first half of your cycle. So, estrogen is more dominant in the follicular phase of your cycle, which is the first half of your cycle, and that estrogen does a lot of things, but one of the key things it does is start to nurture your endometrium and increase the thickness of the lining, which is why, when you are going through IVF and getting ready for a transfer, your doctors are going to give you estrogen as one of the medications to help thicken the endometrium of your uterus. So, this is no difference.
So, if your endometrium doesn’t thicken up enough, it could mean, one, that you’ve got low estrogen levels, so we want to have some hormones tested. So, it can also be an indicator for low blood supply to the endometrium. Low or thin lining can also be an indicator for a damaged tissue, damaged endometrium.
So, I mentioned poor blood supply before, but the second cause of a thin endometrial lining is poor blood supply, like I’ve mentioned several times. Now there’s a lot of potential reasons that one of you might have a lack of healthy blood circulation to the endometrium or into the uterus, one of which could be just living a sedentary lifestyle, meaning you sit on this couch, you don’t get up a lot, maybe you work a lot at a computer or at a desk and you don’t move enough. That’s one cause of poor blood circulation to the endometrium and to the uterus. Some other causes can be fibroids, polyps, maybe there’s some blood vessels that are constricted that are hindering a healthy blood circulation to that area. We might also have endometriosis, which could be an indicator for poor blood circulation to the area.
So, any growth or obstruction in the reproductive area or in the pelvic area can be a cause for poor blood circulation to that area. Another key thing to consider which we often overlook is actually trauma to the area. Were you in a car accident? Did you play sports and had trauma to the hips or the pelvic area? These are all potential causes of poor or reduced blood circulation to the uterus and can affect and hinder healthy blood circulation and a healthy endometrial lining.
All right. The other marker, or number three, if you will, is poor health of the endometrial tissue itself. Now, there’s a lot of potential reasons why we might have a poor health when it comes to the endometrium, and the first and foremost is bacterial infection. You might get an infection that causes inflammation and hinders blood circulation to the endometrium.
Second is STD, sexually transmitted diseases. Those can also and always cause problems with the uterine environment and the fallopian tubes, and the endometrium is no different, in this case. Pelvic inflammatory disease, PID. This is often a secondary disease, so it often happens as a result of an STD, but PID can inhibit blood circulation to the area and can cause thin endometrial lining. Endometritis, which is a chronic infection of the endometrial cells, can also cause low or thin endometrium in the uterus.
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So, I just talked about trauma to the endometrium. Actually, another cause for thin lining comes into that category, the trauma category. In this case, we’re talking about D&Cs or surgeries into the uterus or pelvic area. So, obviously if you’ve had trauma and had to have surgery, that’s a concern. Any surgical procedure into the uterus or the pelvic area is a cause for concern, potentially, for a improper, unhealthy endometrium or uterine environment, so that’s something to think about. We do want to minimize or limit the amount of times that our uterus is touched or affected or has a procedure, so we don’t want to do any unnecessary procedures into the uterus.
This comes back to the other point that I just started with, which is a D&C. A D&C is a procedure that is done if you have been pregnant and unfortunately had to miscarry or had to abort the pregnancy, then the D&C is a procedure that would be done where they scrape the endometrium. They scrape the tissue off to shut it off and kind of start fresh. Now, that can be important, given certain circumstances and situations where we do want to have that procedure done, but having that procedure, a D&C, done repeatedly or excessively… and for some of you, that might be just two or three times, and some of you, that might be six or seven times… not saying that any of us wants to have that procedure done multiple times… but should you have to have that procedure done multiple times, I do think that’s a cause for questioning the procedure and asking if there’s another way you can do things, or if there are other options, instead of having a procedure or surgery done. These can absolutely affect the uterine environment, the endometrium, and these can be concerns for us. So, repeated surgeries, repeated procedures into the uterus, can be a concern and cause trauma, can lead to scar tissue.
One of the more common issues that occurs with repeated D&Cs or procedures comes along the line of scar tissue is a disease called Asherman Syndrome, which is a thinning of the lining and the lining doesn’t thicken up because it’s had too many procedures that are affecting it. So, these are things that we do need to consider and understand as we are thinking about and given options when it comes to procedures or medication or making choices with the health of our uterus.
The next thing is birth control. So, birth control is hormonal birth control, in this case. It is controlling the hormones in your body and can absolutely impact the health of your uterus, amongst other things. Birth control is one of the least favorite things that I like, I guess, if you will. I don’t care for it at all, and I prefer that my patients don’t use it if they don’t have to.
Now, there are times where you do need to use it, but birth control can absolutely impact the health of your uterus and your endometrium, and so that is something for all of us to consider, as we’re deciding if we’re going to go on birth control and what kind of birth control we’re going to use.
Another medication that can absolutely impact your lining is Clomid. Clomid is a medication that has a bit of controversy. One is, it’s used often because it’s easy, it’s cheap, and it’s a good place to start for all of us, but one of the side effects of Clomid is thinning of the endometrium. So, it can help with increasing our follicular development, how many eggs we have, and could potentially allow you to ovulate more than one egg, which is beneficial if you’re trying to get pregnant and you’ve had some difficulties, but on the flip side, it can also be detrimental because it can impact the health of your endometrium and can thin your lining.
So, I often recommend to all of you who are considering or have used Clomid, first and foremost, try to give breaks between cycles. So, you use Clomid one cycle, take a cycle off, use it again in another cycle, take another cycle off. So, that’s one way to use it. It also might not be the best medication for many of you. You might need to look for other options, because some of you might be more predisposed to having a thin lining, so using Clomid might not be in your best interest or a good option for you. If you’re not sure, bring this up with your OB-GYN or your reproductive endocrinologist. At least have the conversation. Maybe you do start with it, but you might have to transition away from it relatively quickly.
Okay. So, we talked about the potential causes that might be contributing to a thin endometrial lining. Now let’s talk about what all of you can do about it. There’s actually a ton of things that you can do at home to support a healthy endometrium and improve your lining. Well, actually, some of it’s at home. Some of it you might have to see somebody, but regardless, there’s a lot of it that you can do that you’re in control of, that you can do to support it. So, let’s get into some of those details.
First and foremost, one of the best things you can do is actually exercise, and not just randomly, regular exercise. Remember, we talked about that person who might sit down at the computer a lot or on the couch and not move enough. Well, you’re the right person to get up and start moving. Do some yoga. Do some walking. Do some biking. Get out and start moving. These are all wonderful ways to increase and improve blood circulation everywhere in the body, and your uterus is no different. So, exercise, that’s number one.
Number two, one of my favorite things to recommend is acupuncture. That’s right. If you’ve read anything about acupuncture and understand how it works, one of the most effective things that it does is increase blood circulation. If you see a trained and qualified professional who knows what they’re doing with regards to fertility and reproductive health, then they can help to focus that blood circulation towards your uterus to increase and improve blood circulation to the uterine environment and the endometrium. So, those are tips number one and number two. Those are key, and they’re so effective and so helpful for this.
All right. So, let’s say you’ve done those things. Well, what else can you do next? One of my favorite things is massage, abdominal massage, uterine massage. This is something that you can go see somebody for, someone who does my abdominal massage, or you can go ahead and do this at home on your own. You can just do some easy circulation moves, circular moves. You can increase blood circulation up into the uterus. So, these are easy techniques that you can do at home.
One of the other things that you can do with this is actually my fourth suggestion, which is castor oil packs. Castor oil packs are really helpful to increase blood circulation, and you usually do them with a heating pad, which is also a wonderful tool, and heat dilates the blood vessels, increases blood circulation. So, when you do this with the castor oil packs, this helps a ton to increase and improve blood circulation to the uterine environment.
So, those are some key things, but there’s even more that you can do. All right. So, some of you have actually heard me talk about vaginal steams, or V steams, often. Well, this is another wonderful tool or method that you can use to improve your blood circulation to the uterus and the uterine environment. When you do the steam, it’s bringing more heat and more warmth to the uterus. It also helps to clean it out, and in that process, increasing blood circulation, you move out the old blood, you move in the new blood. So, those are some easy key things that all of which, or most of which… because you can’t do acupuncture at home… you can do at home, where you have control over.
Some other things that I do like to recommend is Chinese herbs. Now, this is not something that you can do at home. You do need to go seek out someone who can make a proper recommendation, who can diagnose you properly and then create a good, solid plan and formula for you, but they’re so effective and so helpful. I use this with patients all the time, and I do love what it does because it can treat you as a person. They’re customized to you. It can treat your specific needs and everything that’s going on, including the endometrium and increasing blood circulation to the uterus.
So, that’s always awesome, but I am sure that my last recommendation for all of you is going to be the one that you all like the most, and maybe start with. This is actually wine. Not all alcohol, but wine, red wine specifically. So, in Chinese medical theory and understanding, wine creates warmth in the body. It increases blood circulation as well. So, not having too much wine. Let’s not get carried away, but having a glass of wine on occasion can help to increase blood circulation and can increase warmth, which dilates the blood vessels and increases circulation.
So, red wine is a wonderful tool for this and has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine for this specific thing. So, I know that sometimes wine gets a bad rap. Sometimes you always hear that, “Oh, no, you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol,” but there is a time and a place for it, and this is a place that I think it can be beneficial and so we can put it in. But again, I’m not saying that all of you can go out and get drunk and have a bottle of wine. I’m saying a glass of wine, which is very different, and I’m not saying to do it every night. I’m saying to do it periodically, maybe twice a week, and this can help to increase blood circulation.
In and of itself, wine is not going to be enough for you, but I do think, in conjunction with all the other points that I’ve just laid out for you, that adding in a little bit of wine can just help to increase blood circulation. It might be the magic trick you just need, and it helps to relax us and makes us happy, so that doesn’t hurt either.
So, those are my tips for what you can do at home, or mostly at home, to improve blood circulation, increase the endometrium, and support healthy implantation and hopefully have a healthy pregnancy. So, we talked about all the different things, the causes of it, why it’s important to have a healthy endometrium, and now the things that you can be doing at home to support it.
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I also want to know from all of you watching, which one of these tips that I just recommended are you going to start with? Where are you going to go first of all the different suggestions I gave to help you increase your endometrium? If you are not a subscriber to my YouTube channel, then you have to be. Click on that bell right over there so that you can get notified when I put out another video. If you want more videos that can help support you on your journey to conception and to a healthy pregnancy, then you can check out some of those right here. And until the next video, stay fertile.