What causes endometriosis?


No one knows for sure what causes this disease, but scientists have a number of theories.

They know that endometriosis runs in families. If your mother or sister has endometriosis, you are six times more likely to get the disease than other women. So, one theory suggests that endometriosis can be inherited.

Another theory is that during a woman's monthly periods, some endometrial tissue backs up into the abdomen through the fallopian tubes. This transplanted tissue then grows outside the uterus. Many researchers think a faulty immune system plays a part in endometriosis. In women with the disease, the immune system fails to find and destroy endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus. Plus, a recent study shows that immune system disorders (health problems in which the body attacks itself) are more common in women with endometriosis. More research in this area may help doctors better understand and treat endometriosis.