The most accepted theory is centred on the so-called retrograde menstruation. During menstruation, pieces of endometrium arrive in the abdominal cavity through the Fallopian tubes, adhere to the peritoneal lining and develop into endometriotic lesions
The hormone estrogen is crucial in this process. Subsequently, most of the current treatments for endometriosis attempt to lower estrogen production in a woman’s body in order to relieve her of symptoms.
It has been argued that endometriosis is a genetic disease, since some families show more patients with endometriosis compared to other families. Other suggestions are an immune response triggering inflammation.
How can you reduce the chances of getting endometriosis?
Doctors sometimes get questions from relatives of women with endometriosis on how they can prevent the disease.
Studies investigating whether taking the oral contraceptive pill or regular exercise could prevent endometriosis did not show a clear causal relation and have limitations. Therefore, it is uncertain whether taking the combined oral contraceptive pill or having regular physical exercise will prevent the development of endometriosis. Other interventions have not been studied.
Up to now, there are no know ways to reduce the chance of getting endometriosis.