Yes. I am what you call…obsessed with solving all of my infertility problems(I know, it’s not healthy but it keeps the faith). I mean, when I look through my timeline, it reads like a war zone. So, almost every day, I think, “What else could cause me to have this chronically thin lining?”

And I mightΒ have found a clue.

Prolonged use of birth control pills.


After they removed the 110mm cyst that was on my right ovary, they immediately put me on birth control pills (they also had to remove my right ovary and right fallopian tube..so I only had my left ovary and tube for the future). That was in 1997. My Dr., at the time, said that I would need to be on birth control continuously to “preserve” my fertility (to prevent future cysts). So, I heard that, and I stayed on birth control for the next 15 years! Here, I thought I was preserving my fertility, and in turn, I might have been doing more harm??

Now, I understand, this could just be a hypothesis that I read online BUT, I contacted the actual RE who found this link between continuous birth control use and thin lining…and he emailed me back πŸ™‚ I explained my entire history and his response was this:

“Dear Dreaming of Diapers,

Your thin lining is likely secondary due to the prolonged birth control pill use.
Β Our experience is that this effect wears off over time but takes more than 3 years in most cases.
Β We have had no success in thickening the lining so far with any strategy including G-CSF and platelet rich plasma infusion.Β Most patients conceive spontaneously once they have given up so it does seem to self-correct.”

Now, obviously, I cannot conceive “spontaneously” due to not having fallopian tubes any longer….BUT I’ve almost been off of birth control for 3 years(minus this past month because of a cyst!) so I’m just going to think positively that this lining will turn around…maybe it just needs to “wake up” from being asleep for 15 years!!! ???

Just wanted to get this out there…in case there are others, like me, with this, frustrating, thin lining problem. Not many of us…at all….. but I’m determined to find some way…some reason why this is happening.

Please let me know if you’ve experienced this. I’m trying to find out why this may happen to some of us and what can be done to cure it.

On a little positive note, I went to my RE yesterday and the cyst is finally gone πŸ™‚ I’ve been on birth control for almost a month(I know, I didn’t want to be on them after I read the above…but after 2 months, had no choice since it wasn’t shrinking on it’s own)…so it was supposed to be gone…but with my body…who really knows what will happen. I’m glad it’s cooperating a bit and I can start prepping for FET #6 on Monday. I start Tamoxifen again and then I go in for an ultrasound on Feb.9……so I will update then.

A note to my lining: 9mm…I mean, let’s be honest..I’ll take 7mm…but I have high hopes for ya…make me proud this cycle…let’s finally make it to a transfer…finally…xo

30 Comments on Birth Control and Thin Endometrial Lining: A Link?

  1. My lining has always been thin when I haven’t had a “strong ovulation”, which I suppose is when my estrogen hasn’t been high. Even with estrace, my lining has never gotten very thick. However, with this IVF stim cycle, and having so many follicles, my naturally occurring estrogen is super high, and my lining is the thickest it’s ever been. I’m not sure how this helps you, but I have experienced a difference in the receptivity of my lining to naturally occurring estrogen rather than Estrace. Good luck with your FET. I hope your lining is thicker this time around

    • Thanks mamaetmaman…it is weird how some of us just don’t respond to Estrace or other estrogen…unfortunately, during both of my IVF cycles..the thickest my lining got was about 5.7mm…..so I have no clue why nothing works for me…….yet. I’m definitely determined to figure this out πŸ™‚ Thanks for your support and for sharing your story! xoxo

  2. Although I’ve never been on birth control for a long period I’d time because they make me ill. Every time I was put on them for my FET cycles my lining wouldn’t plum up. So after discussing this with my doctor she agreed and took me off of them. I would just have to wait to ovulate before I started lupron. So I think there’s a link between thin lining and bcp.

    • Thanks JoJo…that’s what I was thinking and DID NOT want to go back on the bc πŸ™ But the huge cyst messed that up so…I guess maybe time will tell….something’s gotta give with this lining soon. Thank you for your input and support πŸ™‚ xoxo

  3. I’m not sure if there is something to your theory or not, but it sounds interesting. I was on continuous birth control for 7 years and can say that I got pregnant 3 months after coming off of them. The pregnancy ended in a miscarriage but it wasn’t due to thin lining. I’ve never had a problem with lining.

    • Thanks Eventual Momma….that’s good to know…so, I guess for some women, the lining ends up being ok after being on bc for a long period of time. It’s just such a frustrating thing….thanks for letting me know and for your support πŸ™‚ xoxo

  4. I don’t have a lining problem, but I do blame bcp for my fertility issues! Normal cycles before, then 5 years on it, now screwed up, weak ovulation. I’m pretty sure I won’t be using any hormonal type of birth control again.

    They’re pretty quick to say it doesn’t affect fertility when they prescribe it… That may be true for the majority but I think there are risks.

    • Very interesting snowla1….I think they definitely mess things up. That’s the one thing I would have done was not take them for soooo long continuously. It’s like our body ends up relying on them…and maybe for some…it just messes up the hormones, receptors in the lining, ovulation, etc… Thanks for letting me know…appreciate your support! πŸ™‚ xoxo

    • I agree Tiffany…that’s why I was using them for…the cysts. I definitely think that it has had an effect on my lining…and probably a big reason why it’s just not growing. I think, for some, the bc pills are fine and then can just stop them and their bodies go back to normal…but for others…it damages the natural hormones and receptors and ovulation and such….so frustrating…but let’s just pray that we are both healing and in the right direction to bring our babies home soon πŸ™‚ Thanks for your support! xoxo

  5. I was on the BCP for 12 years continuously and never had an issue with lining to be honest. Though I am doing my first FET now so I’m not sure what the response will be with estrace but I do know that on both my natural cycles and fresh IVF/stim cycles my lining was nice and thick.

    • Thanks True Hugbo…interesting…that’s why I wanted to ask to see who it may happen to and who it doesn’t…maybe it’s different brands and different dosages too…that might make a big difference…glad your lining wasn’t affected! xo

  6. I’m apt to buy into this theory. Even though I was never AWARE of lining problems, it doesn’t mean I didn’t have them. I was on BCPs for approx. 17 years! Interesting that we tried our first round of IVF almost exactly 3 years after coming off them. I wonder if I had attempted a cycle earlier in my life, if it wouldn’t have worked. Thanks for being such an intrepid reporter & researcher on your condition! It DOES help the rest of us!!!

    • Thanks Caroline…I know it has to be something…and I only stayed on them that long because I listened to my Dr. πŸ™ Now I know we need to be advocates for ourselves and our bodies…thanks for the support…xoxo

  7. I hate birth control! I guess I should be grateful I don’t need it LOL!
    I think our bodies all react differently and birth control pills may not affect them ever and it may affect another person completely different. But, I am hoping that your 3 years are up and your lining is going to be thickening up perfectly for you! I was happy to read what the doctor wrote you back! Do you follow Isabelle at https://binkymoongee.wordpress.com
    She is fabulous and if I remember correctly, she has been worried at times of taking birth control and it thinning out her lining.
    I am praying that you get that 9mm!

  8. I was on the pill almost 19 years, since I was a teenager. I have PCOS, so I was put on the pill to help with those symptoms. I was always told by my doctors that it would not hurt my fertility in any way, and it was nothing but beneficial. Now I find out that is not so true. I have been off the pill for 2 years so far, and my lining is really thin. I have suffered several miscarriages. My current RE recommends an endometrial plowing procedure along with estrogen therapy to improve my lining. He says my lining is thin due to long term birth control use, and he seen that many times in the past especially in thin women. He says that with my current lining, I will continue to suffer early miscarriages. So I’m going to try the procedure and hope that it helps. He says he has very good results with it.

    • Hi WillowTree…very interesting. My Dr.’s just don’t have an answer for me so I’m very interested to hear that others may have my same problem. Endometrial plowing…is that like endometrial implantation cuts? Sounds promising. The only thing for me is that I’ve had lots of scar tissue in my uterus(has been removed) but wondering if that would cause more scarring in my situation? I guess anything is worth a shot for me now though. Please keep me updated with how your procedure goes…definitely makes sense that it needs to be refreshed after all of the years we’ve been on BC pills…my email is: dreamingofdiapers@hotmail.com Would love an update when you get a chance! Hoping for lots of improvement and thick lining! xoxo

  9. You have been though a lot, and our fertility issues are different, but I am inspired by your determination and detective spirit in figuring out what is going on. I have been surprised by how happy the RE and doctors have been to treat without trying to define what might be causing the problem. So thank you for your brave searching! It takes a lot of energy, but it sounds like you are finding some answers.

  10. While I am not sure of the condition of my lining, I am sure 12 years on BCP is playing a huge part on my own fertility issues. I know I asked as a teenager if there were any long term effects and none were shared with me. We are still in the early stages (clomid) so I wonder if my lining will be an issue once they figure out how to get me to ovulate again.

    • Interesting seekingalittlec. I didn’t think about it until I contacted a well renowned Dr. for doing research on thin lining and certain BC pills that affect the lining keeping it thin and unresponsive. Makes sense to me. Hopefully you don’t have my issue though because it is NO fun. Best wishes! xoxo

      • Dear Dreaming of Diapers I think that We have the same problem. Due to pcos syndrome I used to take bc pills for almost 11 years with only a three months stop. I am not taking them 1,5 year now and my lining is not getting thicken than 6mm. After my doctor’s instructions I used twice merional injections that multiple the ovulation and the level of estrogens. My lining got 7.9mm thick but the IUIs were not successful. I asked the doctor’s opinion about bc pills and their affection on the lining but he insisted the problem did not cause from that use. I am afraid that if I start IVF treatment nothing will change. The idea that in 3 years the lining will do self correct is hopeful!

  11. I was on birth control for 15 years and actually my periods were regular flow on birth control. Three years ago I went off bc to try to have a baby, only I never got a period. I found out I had pcos, unexplained closed tubes and unexplained thin lining. There was a strange webbing on my uterus that came back as regular uterine tissue (not scar tissue). I tried everything and my lining wouldn’t get above 4mm. We tried ivf and our re let us put in an embryo bc we had so many. They gave us a 5% chance of concieving but it worked first try. I now have a 15 month old and have gotten 2 periods. It’s been over 3 years so after reading your post I was hoping my cycle would thicken up but so far it gets thinner and thinner each month. πŸ™ I am so grateful for my baby and I write this to tell you to never give up! Have those doctors put in embryos anyway!

  12. Just wanted to say that I’m getting a lot of comfort from reading your blog. I know this is an old post, but I also think that my thin lining issues stem from long-term use (maybe 11-12 years?) of BCPs.

    I actually started using it primarily to deal with acne, but it also had the welcome effect of regulating my periods and making them less painful. I guess I had a lot of hormonal issues at the time, and that should have been my first clue that my body was out of whack. We’ve been TTC for two years now, and the only thing they have not been able to correct is my thin lining, which doesn’t seem to get above 4-5 mm. One time, it got to a 7 before shrinking back to a 5 (and maybe more by the time I did the IUI). We also tried Tamoxifen this last time, and it didn’t help.

    We have decided to take a break after this cycle, give my body a rest, and start acupuncture (if nothing else than at least for the stress). At 36, I’m trying to accept the reality that I may not be able to have children. I’m so glad you’ve found another pathway and wish you all the best! It really gives me hope that miracles can happen!

  13. Dreaming of diapers, do you have an update since your original post a couple of years ago?

    I was on Nuva Ring for 11 years, and the pill for 3 years before that. I’ve been TTC for a year and got on clomid last month. Yesterday an ultrasound showed 5 mature eggs (risky but positive) however a uterin lining of only 2.3mm…the doctor said at this time in my cycle it should be 7! I haven’t had a real period since removing my Nuva ring last March…only very light spotting. The doctor is going to try hormone therapy next but after reading about it online, it doesn’t look all that hopefull. I’m sad to think I may have to wait two more years or may never be able to conceive because of birth control. Any new updates you have would be appreciated.

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