Calcium deposits in the uterus lining — known as calcification in the endometrium — can occur alone or with different gynecological conditions. Your overall medical history and current symptoms, if any, can help doctors determine whether treatment is necessary.
The endometrium is the inner layer of soft tissue lining your uterus. Sometimes, calcium deposits form in the uterine lining.
Experts generally consider endometrial calcifications uncommon, and they can occur alone or with different gynecological conditions. These conditions include:
- Endometriosis: The condition involves chronic inflammation of the endometrium and endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus.
- Uterine fibroids: These are noncancerous tumors of varying sizes that develop in the muscle belly of the uterus.
- Endometrial hyperplasia: You can experience unusual enlargement of your endometrium with this condition.
- Uterine polyps: These involve growths on the endometrium.
- Adenomyosis: This condition results from endometrium infiltration into the muscle belly of the uterus.
- Retained conception: This occurs when the body doesn’t expel remnants of pregnancy tissue completely from the uterus.
- Endometrial cancer: This type of cancer begins in the uterus lining. It rarely links to endometrial calcifications.
- Endometrial osseous metaplasia/endometrial ossification: This involves immature or mature bone fragments in the endometrium.
- Endometritis: This consists of uterine infections.
- Menopause: It’s a time of hormone change that causes a cessation of menstruation and the end of fertility.
The exact causes of calcification in the endometrium aren’t clear.
In general, soft-tissue calcification anywhere in the body may link to:
- chronic inflammation
- conditions of hypercalcemia (excess calcium in the bloodstream)
- skeletal disorders
Regarding calcification in the endometrium, research cited in a 2016 study suggested inflammation is the primary factor.
Many of the gynecological conditions that co-occur with endometrial calcifications can cause persistent inflammation that leads to tissue damage. Even conditions that don’t directly occur in the uterine lining, like uterine fibroids, may indirectly irritate the endometrium.
The breakdown of endometrial cells from conditions of inflammation, injury, and infection can cause
In addition to dystrophic calcification, theories suggest chronic inflammation may stimulate cell differentiation of mesenchymal cells in the uterine lining, causing them to become osteoblasts, which help form bone.
Mesenchymal cells in the uterus are
Research on endometrium calcifications is limited, and their clinical significance is unclear.
Endometrial calcifications may not cause obvious symptoms, especially if they don’t co-occur with another gynecological condition, your menstruation has naturally stopped, or you’re not tracking your fertility.
Many people learn they have endometrial calcifications through examinations for other gynecological conditions.
Doctors can usually diagnose endometrial calcifications using diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound or X-rays. On imaging scans, they appear as dense, white marks against the darker shapes of soft tissue.
In situations when calcification might not clearly show on scans, endometrial biopsy can aid detection. A biopsy allows your doctor to take a sample of the endometrium for evaluation in a laboratory.
The treatment of endometrial calcification depends on associated conditions and your present symptoms.
Some calcifications, like those found unintentionally through routine testing, may not cause health complications. Your doctor might suggest leaving them and monitoring for changes.
Endometrial calcifications that cause distressing symptoms or relate to another gynecological condition, like calcific endometriosis, can be removable through dilation and curettage, commonly called a “D and C” for short.
During a D and C, your doctor dilates or opens the cervix at the base of your uterus. They then remove tissue from the endometrium using a thin, specialized instrument called a curette.
Some types of endometrial calcifications may require removal through hysteroscopic resection. This more advanced procedure allows your doctor to take out tissue while gathering images of the interior of the uterus using a hysteroscope.
If your doctor suspects calcifications link to other conditions or aging, treatment can involve hormone therapy, medications like antibiotics, or additional surgeries.
The most recognized complication of endometrial calcifications is infertility.
The way calcified endometrial tissue works is different from typical endometrial tissue. Structural changes in the endometrium can affect your ability to become pregnant or maintain a pregnancy.
According to a small 2008 study, endometrial calcifications are rarely malignant or cancerous.
Many cases are treatable, and surgical removal of the calcifications may restore fertility.
Endometrial calcifications are calcium deposits in the uterus lining. The exact causes of calcification in the endometrium are unknown, but some research suggests inflammation and tissue damage play important roles.
Many endometrial calcifications requiring treatment can be removable by D and C or hysteroscopic resection. Complications, like infertility, may resolve after treatment.