What Causes Endometriosis?

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There are several theories as to what causes Endometriosis, but nobody truly knows the exact cause.  It’s all theory, conjecture, guesses – which makes finding an effective treatment and cure so difficult for the medical community.  So I figured I’d lay out the  most common theories for you, just in case you were curious…like I was:

Retrograde Menstruation

Think of a backwards period.  Menstrual blood in your uterus flows backward, through your Fallopian tubes, escaping out into your pelvic cavity.  The endometrial cells contained in that blood stick to your pelvic cavity and organs, grow, bleed, and cause adhesions.  There have been several studies on retrograde menstruation, and oddly enough not every woman who has retrograde menstruation has Endometriosis.  It has doctors scratching their heads, but this appears to be the most widely-accepted explanation as to what causes Endometriosis.

You’re Born With It

Endometrial cells may have developed outside of your uterus when you were a fetus and they grow and develop throughout your life. A sort of pre-determined map of where your Endo will be, how bad the symptoms will be, and what Stage it will be. Dr. David Redwine explains more of this theory here.

It’s Hereditary

Some woman in your family of close blood relation likely had Endometriosis and it’s passed down through DNA.  Several studies are going on to analyze the DNA-link.  If you would like to participate, feel free to look at the ROSE Study, financed by the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

Coelomic Metaplasia

Certain cells lining your abdomen and pelvic cavity develop into endometrial cells.  Those cells may may grow and develop into Endometriosis.

Environmental Causes

Exposure to certain toxins, including dioxins, may encourage Endometriosis.  Dioxins are a carcinogen byproduct of manufacturing pesticides, herbicides, plastics, and paper. This has caused many Warriors to pursue a natural and healthy lifestyle, avoiding as much exposure to environmental toxins and dioxins as possible.

Surgical Transplantation

During surgery, endometrial cells may adhere to surgical scarring, causing further growth and symptoms to spread and occur.  Endometriosis has been found in many surgical scars.

Blood Vessel & Lymph Node Transfer

Our blood vessels and lymphatic system may carry and transport endometrial cells through our bodies, transplanting them into our pelvic cavity and on organs.  This may explain why Endometriosis can be found in random places like the skin, lungs, heart, and eye.

Immune System Disorder

Our immune systems may be broken, making our bodies unable to recognize our Endometriosis as a “bad growth,” rendering it unable to fight and destroy the invading cells.  Many people with Endometriosis have additional issues, including immune deficiencies and disorders.


Center for Young Women’s Health

Endometriosis Association

Endometriosis Foundation of America


Feinstein Institute 

International Journal of Reproductive Medicine (Article, Feb. 2014) – Theories on the Pathogenesis of Endometriosis

Marilyn Glenville 

Mayo Clinic

Medical News Today

Medicine Net


National Health Service – UK


~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

2 thoughts on “What Causes Endometriosis?

  1. I remember searching for causes, it’s like searching for treatment options, there are many. I guess the causes could differ from person to person to. I thought hereditary, but there is no history anywhere in my family…. Unless something years ago before they knew it was Endo.

    Liked by 1 person

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