Endometrium plays a vital role in the functioning of a female body. The lining of the uterine wall thickens in preparation for conception and aids in the maintenance of the fetus during pregnancy. In addition, it is also responsible for the monthly cycle of menstruation when pregnancy doesn’t occur. Hence, it is essential to maintain the normal size of endometrium in mm. It usually falls between two to 16 millimeters during the reproductive phase.
Here, in this article, we will discuss how the endometrium works and the significant signs of an unusual functioning of the stripe.
The Purpose and Function of Endometrium in the Female Body
The endometrium has a significant role in the lifecycle of a woman. Estrogen and progesterone are the main hormones that work in the formation of the uterine line. It affects a woman’s reproductive health and general well-being during the reproductive phase of her life and beyond. The thickening of the endometrium stays throughout gestation and after the cervical os in pregnancy dilates, and the baby is born.
Endometrium usually has two layers made of mucosal tissue. The first layer of the stripe works as a support system in the uterus and remains mostly the same throughout. The second layer, however, is the one that constantly changes and gets thick and thin. It is responsible for the menstrual cycle, which begins with its thickening and ends with the shedding of this layer. It is also the part where embryo implantation occurs after fertilization.
Endometrium During Menstrual Cycle
The thickening of the endometrium begins before the ovulation period of the menstrual cycle. The uterus prepares itself in anticipation of conception and pregnancy. It goes through several changes in its structure. Tiny blood vessels in them multiply, and the glands in the uterus grow longer, making the uterus thicker and richer in blood. It helps implantation and placenta formation after conception.
However, implantation will not take place unless a sperm fertilizes the egg. So, there is no use for the thick uterine lining, and the uterus prepares for its shedding. The discarding of the lining is menstruation. It comprises the cells from the additional layer of tissue and the blood from the tiny blood vessels in the uterine glands.
Endometrium During Pregnancy
Once fertilization of the egg occurs and the embryo forms, it travels through the fallopian tube to reach the uterus. The embryo gets embedded in the thick uterine lining, where it grows till it becomes a fetus.
The endometrium undergoes various changes in its structure and function during implantation. The endometrium becomes capable of supporting the placenta inside which the baby grows. It also provides the necessary nutrients and supplies oxygen to the growing fetus throughout gestation.
The changes in the endometrial lining are natural and occur during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and after childbirth. However, specific changes in the endometrium can lead to abnormalities in its normal functioning.
Some of the most commonly experienced changes include the following.
It is a condition in which the uterine lining doesn’t become thick enough for embryo implantation. It generally occurs due to the low production of estrogen in the body.
Age, hormonal imbalance, menopause, autoimmune conditions, and eating disorders can lead to atrophy. Balanced nutrition and estrogen therapy are common treatments.
Polyps are abnormalities in the uterine tissues that make the endometrium look thicker. They are usually benign and do not cause much trouble.
There is a slight possibility of it causing infertility, but it is pretty rare. Surgical removal is one of the most common treatments.
It is an abnormality of the uterine in which the endometrium grows outside the uterus, which leads to infertility. It can affect the fallopian tubes, pelvic tissues, or ovaries.
Endometriosis can affect ovulation and the entire functioning of the endometrium and the uterus. Common treatments include hormone therapy, surgery, and medication.
It is a condition of abnormal growth of the endometrium in the muscular wall of the uterus instead of its lining. It is most common in women in the perimenopausal stage.
It may cause heavy and painful periods. However, it generally goes away after menopause. Hormonal treatments can resolve the issue to some extent.
These tissue growths stick to the endometrium, making it appear thicker than usual. They are non-cancerous and rarely cause any symptoms.
Treatments primarily include surgical methods, although they are rarely necessary.
The endometrium is one of the most significant parts of the female body. It plays a crucial role in the reproductive stages of a woman’s life. Understanding the functioning and maintaining proper endometrium health is essential for successful conception and childbirth.
If you experience any abnormalities in the menstrual cycle, you should immediately seek the help of a doctor.