Female Infertility is a very common issue among families worldwide and can result from age, hormone problems, medical surgeries, prior infections, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Besides reduced ovarian reserve and Asherman syndrome, Endometrial thinning is one of the most common causes of female infertility.
The endometrium is the inner epithelial layer of the uterus along with its mucous membrane. During menstruation, the endometrial layer is shed off after thickening due to hormone surge during the monthly menstrual cycle. Endometrial lining maintains the patency of the uterus cavity by preventing adhesions between the myometrium walls. Besides patency and menstruation, endometrium provides an optimal environment for uterine implantation in pregnancy. The endometrial lining has an average thickness of 8mm and at the time of administering fertility medication or in vitro fertilization, it is favorable to have a thickness of 8-14 mm. On a clinical basis, less than 7mm thickness of the stable endometrium is regarded as thinning.
Causes of endometrial thinning
Endometrial thinning can be caused due to irregular periods or due to low estrogen levels. Such conditions can also show up due to eating disorders or autoimmune disorders in the body.
Can nutrition help?
A healthy uterine lining or endometrial lining helps women in regular menstrual discharge and getting pregnant by ensuring successful implantation. Besides hormonal medications, a habit of exercising can increase the blood flow throughout your body and that includes blood flow to one’s uterus. A good amount of rest and meditation for de-stressing can also help in natural hormone regulation in the body. Further habits to avoid definitely include smoking and caffeine intake.
So, it is evident that a healthy lifestyle plays a huge role in maintaining endometrial thickness and thus Nutrition is an important factor. Many clinical studies significantly suggest that nutrition may have a relevant impact on endometrial thickness. Here are some nutritional strategies that can help:
- Vitamin E rich food
Vitamin E may assist thickening of the endometrium wall and foods like nuts, seeds, and avocados are rich in vitamin E. For a healthy woman, an amount of 7mg/day can be gained by proper diet but studies have used much higher concentrations, which are not always suitable for good health. Vitamin E supplements must be taken after consulting with one’s doctor as large doses of vitamin E during pregnancy have been known to cause ‘small for gestational age’ babies.
- L-arginine rich food
L-arginine is produced by our body and helps in protein building as an amino acid. This amino acid also works as a vasodilator and helps in blood flow. For having foods rich in L-arginine, one should look for a diet rich in are dairy products, soy, beans, fish, poultry products. Before taking supplements, one should look for proper medical advice.
- Omega-3 rich food
Omega-3 is a well-known factor that promotes hormonal regulation and increased the chances of embryo implantation in the uterus. Some common foods rich in omega-3 are avocados, fatty fish, spinach and walnuts.
- Whole grains
For a healthy female body, 48gm/day of whole grains are suggested but seldom people follow or get even close to that amount. Seedy bread, bran rice, and even popcorn are considered whole grains and these are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, B-vitamins, and antioxidants. Some studies have suggested that women who have higher whole grain intake have higher chances of implantation with IVF. Moreover, for every additional serve of whole grains per day, uterine lining can increase by an average of 0.4 mm. It might not sound much but it makes quite a difference!.