Proliferative endometrium

by Adnan Karavelic MD FRCPC
April 4, 2024

Proliferative endometrium is a term pathologists use to describe the changes seen in the endometrium during the first half of the menstrual cycle. It is a normal finding in women of reproductive age.

Proliferative endometrium

Does proliferative endometrium mean cancer?

No. Proliferation is a noncancerous change in the endometrium. It is a normal change seen in women of reproductive age.

What causes the endometrium to become proliferative?

The endometrium becomes proliferative in response to stimulation by the hormone estrogen. It is a normal change seen in the first half of the menstrual cycle.

How is this diagnosis made?

This diagnosis is usually made after a small sample of tissue is removed from the endometrium during a procedure called an endometrial biopsy or uterine curetting.

Common reasons for these procedures include:

  • Abnormal (dysfunctional) uterine bleeding.
  • Postmenopausal bleeding.
  • Screening for endocervical or endometrial cancer.
  • Endometrial dating.
  • Follow-up of previously diagnosed endometrial hyperplasia.
  • Endometrial or endocervical polyps.
  • Infertility.

Your pathology report may also say negative for hyperplasia and malignancy, which means there was no evidence of endometrial cancer or endometrial hyperplasia in the tissue samples examined. Based on this diagnosis, your doctor will suggest further testing and treatment.

Other helpful resources

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
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