There has been much speculation over the years regarding the cause of Endometriosis. Listed below are some of the theories that researchers and doctors have put forward to date.


Endo’s mysterious ‘enigmas and riddles’ challenge us to think deeply about the causes of this life-disrupting condition. Identifying and resolving the causes are likely to bring constructive, comprehensive approaches out of the current frustration over care that merely reacts to and suppresses as they occur.
Mary Lou Bellweg, CoFounder and President of the Endometriosis Association

Click the plus (+) sign to expand each theory below:

This theory suggests that during menstruation, a certain amount of menstrual fluid flowed backward from the uterus to ‘shower the pelvic organs and pelvis lining’ with endometrium cells. However, studies have shown that many women experience retrograde menstruation but do not go on to develop Endometriosis.

This theory also fails to explain why Endometriosis can be found in remote areas such as the lungs, breasts, lymph nodes and even the eyes.

This theory simply believes that endometriosis spreads via the circulatory and lymphatic system.

Women with family members who have Endometriosis are more likely, or are susceptible to developing the disease. Similar to this theory, is the idea that women can be born with migrant endometrial cells in the pelvic cavity, which in later life can develop into Endometriosis.

A great deal of research is clearly highlighting that women who are exposed to environmental toxins are at much greater risk of developing endometriosis along with other serious health disorders. These toxins include PCBs, DDT and Dioxin, all of which are widely spread throughout the world today.

The other major environmental toxins are collectively known as Xenoestrogens. These are compounds and chemicals found in the environment and food chain that react negatively with the natural balance of the body, both male and female, causing a damaging imbalance in the system.

Endometriosis is accidentally transported during surgery. This is highly unlikely today, due to advanced surgical management and it does not account for the presence of the disease in the first place.

This theory holds that certain cells, when stimulated, can transform themselves into a different kind of cells, as in women taking estrogen replacement therapy.

The liver regulates and removes estrogen from the body. If the function of the liver is compromised then serious health problems can emerge, including endometriosis.

Of all the theories being postulated for the cause of endometriosis, the idea that this disease is an autoimmune disease seems the very likely, credible and feasible. Autoimmune diseases are now widely believed to occur based on genetic predisposition that may be triggered by environmental and other external factors.