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Causes of endometriosis

What causes endometriosis? Why am I suffering from endometriosis? (pathogenesis)

To date, the causes of endometriosis remain unclear, even though the disease was first described by a physician named Rokitansky as early as in 1861.

There are numerous theories but none can explain all of the phenomena associated with endometriosis. Experts have therefore come to agree that there are many factors that may lead to the onset and progression of the disease. The disease appears to depend on oestrogen, as a result of which 98 % of cases affect young women up to the menopause.

The following factors are discussed as possible explanations for the disease:

  1. Backflow of menstrual blood through the fallopian tubes into the abdominal cavity (“retrograde menstruation“) and “Implantation” (adherence) of the tissue parts in other locations or
  2. local displacement of the mucous membrane during surgeries of the uterus, as well as the spreading of endometrial cells via the blood and lymph vessels.
  3. A genetic predisposition. Did your mother also suffer from painful periods? Do you have other family members who have been diagnosed with endometriosis?
  4. Immune system. An impaired immune system may promote the development or progress of the disease.
  5. Environmental influences may have an effect on the development of the disease.

It is presumed that the development of endometriosis is the overall result of multiple factors.