Causes of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition resulting from the presence of actively growing and functioning endometiral tissue in locations outside the uterus. While the exact causes are still not fully understood, there are several theories that exist:

Retrograde menstruation and tubal reflux. When a woman menstruates, the blood is normally eliminated thorugh the cervix; however, it sometimes backs up into the fallopian tubes and flows into the abdominal cavity where it can continue to produce new cells.

Anatomical abnormalities. A retroverted uterus and small cervical opening may inhibit blood flow leading to retrograde menstruation.
Appoximately 27% of women with mild endometriosis also have ovulatory dysfunction or gluteal phase defect.

Genetic and immunologic factors. There is a 5.8% incidence among immediate female siblings and an 8.1% risk if the mother had endometriosis.

Lymphatic dissemination. Normal endometrium may “metastasize” via lymphatic channels and spread to extra-uterine sites. The lymphatic system transports the endometrial cells to other parts of the body.

Estrogen dominance. Estrogen stimulates the growth of endometrial tissue; many women with endometriosis have elevated estrogen levels, as well as lower levels of progesterone.