What is the endometrium and how does it change in menopause

Maybe you’ve heard of endometriosis, maybe you know the female genital system well and you also know what endometrium is. But do you know what happens to this tissue in menopause?

The scientific information in this article is checked by our medical staff

The fertile life of a woman revolves around the uterus , the cavity that welcomes the fetus during pregnancy or that, in the absence of fertilization, “unravels” every month, causing menstruation. In reality, what is eliminated with the menstrual cycle is a layer of the inner walls of the uterus, made up of a special tissue – the endometrium – which constitutes the “cradle” for any embryo.

It is clear that this process of growth and breakdown of the endometrium , which continues throughout the fertile life, stops with the arrival of menopause because the ovarian reserve is finished and there is no longer any reason to prepare the body for pregnancy.

In normal conditions, therefore, the endometrium in menopause no longer grows and is therefore thin, stabilizing over time around 5 millimeters.

But let’s see in more detail.

What is the endometrium?

The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterine cavity and normally develops within it. Normally the endometrium grows between one menstruation and the next passing from a minimum thickness of 1 millimeter in the menstrual phase, up to 14 millimeters in the periovulatory phase.

The endometrium consists of a glandular epithelial layer and a mucosa .

Where is the endometrium located?

The endometrium is located inside the uterine cavity and lines its internal walls.

What Happens to the Endometrium in Menopause?

With the arrival of menopause and the definitive end of menstrual cycles and fertility, the endometrium no longer has any reason to grow to make the uterus welcoming.

The endometrium thins and, at this stage, this is completely physiological and natural .

It is a good idea to undergo a periodic Pap-Test which should also be done after menopause on the advice of the gynecologist, to monitor the state of the internal cells of the uterus.

What is endometrial hyperplasia?
It is a non-normal thickening of the endometrium that can occur for different causes sometimes even after menopause.

If it is detected by a pelvic exam or gynecological ultrasound, it is advisable to do the necessary investigations.

In postmenopausal women ,   the thickened endometrium can cause blood loss also called “spotting”.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease that affects women of childbearing age , often painful, in which the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus – the endometrium – also develops in different places, outside the uterus.

Endometriosis most commonly involves the ovaries , intestines or the tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen. This abnormal proliferation can generate cysts (called endometriotic cysts ) that can rupture and bleed exactly as it happens during the menstrual cycle to the uterine tissue, only this blood flow, which does not come from the uterus, has no way to exit and remains inside. of the body, sometimes generating infections, irritation, adhesions .

It is easy to imagine that  menopause can be a relief  for women suffering from this disease, because the interruption of the menstrual cycle and the drastic reduction of estrogen production favors a natural improvement of the disease , but this is not always the case: “If your endometriosis is mild, it could improve with menopause – says Dr. Kenny Sinervo, of the  Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, Georgia  – But if the disease is at an advanced stage, the symptoms tend to persist ”.

 

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