The uterine lining is the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus. It is also known as the endometrium.
During your menstrual cycle, the thickness of the uterine lining increases and decreases each month. It is thinnest at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, then thickens to prepare for ovulation and implantation. The lining is shed at the end of the menstrual cycle, which is when you have your period. The new lining then regenerates to be receptive to an embryo if you become pregnant. The lining of your uterus is thickest during pregnancy.
There are many health conditions that can affect the uterine lining. Some of these conditions make the lining thicker and increase your chances of becoming pregnant. The lining of the uterus is also affected by hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. Too much of one or too little of the other can cause problems with the lining of your uterus.
When the lining of your uterus becomes too thick, it is called endometrial hyperplasia. This condition increases your risk for uterine cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in women and people assigned female at birth.
If you have endometrial hyperplasia, your healthcare provider may suggest treatments that will thin the uterine lining. These may include medicine or a procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C). During D&C, your healthcare provider uses a tool to break up the uterine lining and remove it from your body.
Some medicines, such as NSAIDs, may help prevent or treat a high uterine lining. These medicines include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
A healthy uterine lining is important if you want to try to get pregnant. Having an unhealthy uterine lining can cause infertility and may interfere with implantation during IVF. You can improve your chance of having a healthy uterine lining by eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding caffeine and smoking, taking vitamin supplements such as iron, fish oil, turmeric, and low-dose aspirin, and getting regular exercise.
Some natural methods to thicken the uterine lining may be useful if you are trying to conceive, but they haven’t been proven to work in clinical trials. Some natural approaches include adding certain foods to your diet, such as cruciferous vegetables and herbs, taking supplements such as vitamin E and curcumin, and practicing acupuncture. However, always talk to your doctor before trying any supplements or herbs. You should also check with your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications to see how they might interact with the supplements or herbs you’re considering.