Acupuncture For a Thin Uterine Lining

Acupuncture For a Thin Uterine Lining

The uterine lining is essential to one’s fertility.

It is where the embryo implants at the start of a pregnancy, and the uterine lining supports proper growth and development of the baby throughout the pregnancy.

What makes for a healthy uterine lining?

  • 8 – 12 mm thick at mid-cycle, as measured by ultrasound
  • Evenly distributed
  • Good blood flow
  • Promotes implantation
  • Supports a healthy pregnancy

Why is a thin uterine lining a fertility challenge?

  • Lower rates of Conception:
    If the uterine lining is too thin, the embryo will have a hard time implanting, which leads to lower rates of conception.
  • Increased risk of miscarriage:
    If the embryo is able to implant, a thin lining cannot always support a growing pregnancy, which increases the risk of miscarriage.
  • Increased pregnancy complications:
    If the pregnancy is able to hold, there will be a greater chance of pregnancy complications, including intrauterine growth retardation where the baby does not get enough nourishment and fails to grow properly.

Symptoms associated with a thin uterine lining:

  • Painful periods
  • Scanty periods
  • Clots in the menstrual blood
  • Dark red or purple menstrual blood
  • Thin lining as measured by ultrasound
  • Poor implantation of embryos
  • Pregnancy complications

What causes a thin uterine lining?

There are several things that may lead to a thin uterine lining.  One cause is due to a structural abnormality, such as uterine fibroids or scar tissue.  A second cause of thin uterine lining can be nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of iron or simply not getting enough nutrient-rich foods.  A third cause of a thin lining is poor blood flow to the uterus.  This can be effectively treated with acupuncture.

Improve a thin uterine lining with acupuncture

Acupuncture is effective at increasing the thickness of one’s uterine lining. Acupuncture works by improving the blood flow into the uterine arteries, which in turn supports a healthy uterine lining.  Research has shown that improved blood flow to the uterine arteries is associated with better pregnancy outcomes. 

What else helps to improve a thin uterine lining?

Your acupuncturist can advise you on different therapies that can help increase the thickness of your uterine lining:

Food to grow a healthy uterine lining

Food nourishes us and is needed to make blood, which in turn builds a healthy uterine lining. Chinese medicine has long recognized certain foods that are especially good at building blood. Be sure to include these nutrient -rich foods in your diet:

  • Meat: 1 -3 servings daily of meat that is ideally organic and hormone-free.  Red meat, both beef and lamb, is best for building a uterine lining
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, raw nuts, avocado
  • Dark leafy greens 

Supplements to grow a healthy uterine lining

In addition to a blood-building foods, many supplements can help build a healthy uterine lining.  Take these daily:

  • Iron, 1 – 2 daily servings, exact dose depends on the type of iron
  • Digestive enzymes to break down iron, 1 – 2 capsules with iron
  • Fish oil, aka Omega 3 essential fatty acids, 2000 mg daily
  • Vitamin E, 800 iu daily
  • L-Arginine, 6 grams daily
  • Turmeric, aka Curcumin, 2000 mg daily, STOP when pregnant
  • Low Dose Aspirin (LDA), 81 mg daily 

Keeping warm improves blood flow and a healthy uterine lining

  • Consume warm food and beverages
    • Drink warm beverages such as ginger tea or hot water with lemon
    • Eat warm foods – soups and stews
    • Keep cold and raw foods to a minimum
    • Avoid iced beverages
  • Keep your feet warm
    • Wear warm socks and shoes
    • Have cozy slippers at home
    • Wear socks to bed
    • Take warm foot baths
  • Use a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower abdomen anytime there is pain, or you feel cold

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we would love to work with you. We can answer your questions and help you get scheduled for your first appointment. Please email us!

Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac.
Medical director
Fertility Acupuncturist East Bay
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