The fertilized egg cell travels through the fallopian tube for 4-6 days before arriving at the uterus, where it can implant itself. Ideally, the endometrium will already have thickened enough to ensure trouble-free implantation (nidation).
The second half of the cycle is progesterone-dominated and is initiated with ovulation. The corpus luteum hormone (progesterone) then prevents the shedding of the endometrium. If fertilization does not take place, the corpus luteum dies and the female body sheds the endometrium – which has then become unnecessary – by means of the menstrual period.
The endometrium, which is normally inside the uterus, may also grow outside of the uterine cavity (in the abdomen, for example), which can consequently lead to infertility in the woman. This is referred to as endometriosis – a chronic disease. There are approximately 300,000 women affected in Austria. Endometriosis frequently manifests itself in women who have PCOS. You can find further information about the subject on the homepage of the “Endometriose Vereinigung Austria (EVA)” (Austrian endometriosis association).
Potential problems: the endometrium is not thick enough or has insufficient blood flow.
Due to its possible antioxidant and anticoagulant effects, vitamin E can contribute to the formation of the endometrium and increase endometrial receptiveness. Omega-3-fatty acids may lower the risk of endometriosis because the excessive release of estradiol is moderated. A supply of catechins (green tea extract) in the diet can support the blood flow in the endometrium, thanks to their possible anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic effects. With PCOS, a hormonal imbalance can often result in the endometrium being unable to develop normally because of a lack of essential nutrients, such as vitamin E. In women with PCOS, the endometrium is frequently too thin and poorly supplied with blood.