The uterus is quite simply an amazing organ. It is your future baby’s home for 9 months, during which time it goes from being a tiny fertilised egg, to a fully developed baby.

We can spend, days, weeks even months painting and decorating a baby nursery for an impending new arrival, however the most important ‘nursery’ your baby will ever have, is the one inside you. Your uterus.  Yet it often receives little, if any preparation.

In ideal conditions, the monthly shedding and rebuilding of the uterine lining provides the perfect environment for implantation and the progression of a healthy pregnancy. However, for some women, even with healthy eggs, the uterine environment may not be conducive to implantation and the egg ‘just won’t stick’. These have women have difficulty holding a pregnancy and are prone to early miscarriage.

Here, we cover important things you can do to help maintain or improve your uterine health so your baby’s first home is a welcoming and supportive as it can be.

Factors affecting uterine health

  • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Lack of activity and exercise decreases blood flow to the reproductive organs including the uterus. Decreased blood flow means less nutrients being carried to the uterus and more stagnation and congestion. A sedentary lifestyle can also impact the health of the muscular tissue of the uterus, weakening uterine strength.
  • Hormonal imbalance
    • Any factors affecting hormonal balance can negatively impact uterine health. Irregular menstruation, short, long, unusually light or heavy cycles can affect the body’s ability to properly shed the endometrium. The endometrium relies on hormonal cues to adequately shed and rebuild a healthy lining. Hormonal imbalance can lead to incomplete shedding or poor rebuilding of the uterine lining, affecting its ability to house and nurture an embryo. Healthy estrogen levels are required to build a thick, healthy lining. Inadequate levels can lead to a thin lining which is not conducive to implantation. A uterine lining less than 8mm thick is considered inadequate.
  • Synthetic hormones
    • Although these medications can be valuable to act as a contraceptive or to improve fertility, long-term use of synthetic hormones such as the Pill has been shown to reduce the thickness and health of the uterine lining. Ideally taking a 3 – 6 month break from these medications can help nourish and support uterine health.

Conditions affecting uterine health

Depending on their severity, these conditions can be successfully treated to improve uterine health and enable successful implantation and maintenance of a healthy pregnancy.  If you suffer any of the above conditions, please seek the advice of your GP or fertility specialists.  If you don’t currently see a medical professional, you can search for one in our Directory.

Improving uterine health

Women with specific medical conditions affecting the health of their uterus will require specific treatment. However there are many things you can do to positively influence uterine health either in combination with these treatments or on their own for those with less specific uterine issues or who are just wanting to optimise uterine health.

  • Exercise
    • We hear a lot about activity and exercise for fertility, this is because it is so important for reproductive health. Regular gentle exercise such as walking, light jogging, or aerobics will help to stimulate blood flow to the uterus. To specifically address uterine health there are specific yoga poses or Pilates exercises that may be beneficial to help focus on this important area.
  • Stress
    • A much mentioned topic and for good reason. Stress greatly impacts our reproductive health
      • reduces the body’s ability to produce sex hormones required for reproduction
      • increases stress hormones
      • reduces nutritional status
      • as well as lessening important blood flow to the uterus
  • Diet/Nutrition
    • Diet plays a key role in uterine health. Eating a healthy, balanced diet free from chemical contaminants helps nourish and support uterine health.
  • Supplements
    • Other key nutrients, which can play a supportive role in uterine health, include
      • vitamin C
      • vitamin E.
      • iron
      • Note: Iron is a heavy metal, which is not easily excreted from the body, therefore you should always have your iron levels checked before taking high dose supplements.
  • Herbs
    • The liver plays a major role in maintaining hormone balance as well as ridding the body of unwanted toxins, which can affect uterine health. A good liver tonic in combination with a healthy diet can be a useful addition. These include
      • milk thistle
      • turmeric
    • Nourishing, building herbs can also benefit uterine health, these include
      • ginger
      • raspberry leaf
      • nettles

Speak with your natural health care practitioner for specific dose requirements.