Endometriosis epidemiology, features of risk factors and aetiology: literature review

Augustina Zaveriuchaitė1, Geistė Tubutytė1

1 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background. Endometriosis is a progressive chronic hormone-dependent inflammatory disease, often affecting women in child-bearing age. During its course the endometrium tissue forms outside of the uterine cavity. Due to delayed diagnostics the epidemiology of this disease is not known exactly.

Aim. To review scientific literature about endometriosis epidemiology, risk factors and aetiological aspects.

Materials and methods. The literature search was conducted in the international database PubMed. Keywords such as ,,endometriosis‘‘, ,,endometriosis epidemiology‘‘, ,,endometriosis risk factors‘‘, ,,endometriosis aetiology‘‘ and their combinations were used. 717 publications were found in the search results, of which 653 articles were rejected that did not match the topic. The literature review includes 64 articles in English, published between 1986 and 2022.

Results. It has been proven that this disease is diagnosed more often to women that have a higher social-economical status, are working night shifts, have encountered misbehavior in their childhood, have a family history of endometriosis in first-degree relatives, had an early menarche and/or the menstruation cycle is shorter than 27 days. Diet is also of an important role to this disease while alcohol increases the risk of having endometriosis.

Conclusions. The prevalence of endometriosis is not known exactly. Despite lack of understanding of its aetiology, it is assumed that various factors are of influence. That includes the genetic profile, inflammation, hormonal activity, menstruation cycles, metabolism of prostaglandines and imunological elements.

Keywords: endometriosis, risk factors, aetiology, epidemiology.