Steps to prevent endometrial hyperplasia, or thickening of the uterine wall, include maintaining a healthy weight and taking oral contraceptives containing both estrogen and progestin to manage irregular periods, explains the the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Women in menopause can take progestin or progesterone along with estrogen.
The endometrium, or uterine lining, naturally thickens during a woman's menstrual cycle due to the effects of estrogen as the body prepares itself for pregnancy, states the ACOG. After ovulation, the body produces progesterone. Abnormal thickening of the endometrium occurs when the body fails to ovulate and produce progesterone. In some cases, endometrial hyperplasia can lead to cancer.
Endometrial hyperplasia is most common in women after menopause. Other risk factors include obesity, a family history of uterine or ovarian cancer and conditions such as diabetes mellitus and polycystic ovary syndrome, according to the ACOG.
In the early stages of endometrial hyperplasia, taking progesterone may be enough to treat the condition. In more severe cases, a D&C procedure may be necessary, advises HERS Foundation. During a D&C, or dilation and curettage, procedure, a doctor dilates the patient's cervix and uses suction or a surgical instrument to scrape out uterine tissue, states Mayo Clinic.