Thin unresponsive endometrium--a possible complication of surgical curettage compromising ART outcome

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2008 Aug;25(8):421-5. doi: 10.1007/s10815-008-9245-y. Epub 2008 Sep 17.


Purpose: Endometrial thickness is important for implantation. Little data addresses the etiology of persistently thin endometrium. We present a patient cohort in order to define common features and draw conclusions.

Methods: Thirteen out of 1,405 IVF patients repeatedly had thin unresponsive endometrium (<7 mm). Age, history, uterine cavity status, treatment type and outcome were examined.

Results: Patient age was 35.9 +/- 5.7 years. Ten patients had a curettage performed previously. Nine patients had normal cavity and endometrium, and in four adhesions were diagnosed and removed. Out of 99 cycles performed afterwards, endometrial thickness increased in 22. ETs were performed in 49 cycles resulting in 11 pregnancies. Their outcome was eight miscarriages, two terminations due to malformations, and one live birth.

Conclusions: Thin unresponsive endometrium was associated with curettage, not necessarily with intrauterine adhesions. Even if adequate thickening eventually occurred, the reproductive outcome was still very poor. Therefore other alternatives should be sought for these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Curettage / adverse effects*
  • Curettage / methods*
  • Embryo Implantation
  • Embryo Transfer
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia
  • Endometrium / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / adverse effects
  • Fertilization in Vitro / methods
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted*
  • Tissue Adhesions