Endometriosis Microbiome

Endo-Fighting Microbiome Optimization: Research-based Tips

Endometriosis is partly caused by, and causes, inflammation. The origin or genesis of this
inflammation is probably multifactorial but recent research suggests that the microbiome, the
community of microorganisms living in or on the human body, plays an important role through
inflammatory pathways. Dysbiosis, which means an imbalance or impairment of the microbiota,
is observed in endometriosis, and is thought to both contribute to and result from endo.

Studies have focused on the gut, peritoneal fluid, and female reproductive tract microbiota to
identify specific microbiome signatures associated with endometriosis. The gut microbiome, in
particular, has been extensively studied. Changes in bacterial composition, such as increased
levels of Proteobacteria and decreased levels of Lactobacilli, have been observed in the gut of
endometriosis patients. Other body sites, including the peritoneal fluid and female reproductive
tract, also show altered microbiota in endometriosis.

The dysbiosis observed in endometriosis is believed to contribute to the disease through
various mechanisms. One theory suggests that bacterial contamination, particularly with
Escherichia coli, in the menstrual blood may lead to inflammation and immune activation in the
peritoneal cavity, contributing to endometriosis development. Dysbiosis can also affect
estrogen metabolism, through dysfunction of the so called “estrobolome”. This can lead to
increased levels of circulating estrogen and a hyper-estrogenic state, which promotes
endometriosis. Additionally, dysbiosis-induced epigenetic changes and immune modulation
may play a role in direct endometriosis pathogenesis.

Research on the microbiome in endometriosis is still in its early stages, but it holds promise for
potential diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Microbiome testing could potentially be used
as a non-invasive tool for detecting endometriosis, complementing current imaging modalities.
The technology for doing this is already here and you can get it ordered. However, the meaning
of the results is still not well understood in any given individual. So, it’s complicated.

Beyond testing, manipulating the microbiome through interventions like probiotics, antibiotics,
or dietary modifications may offer new treatment options for endometriosis. To the extent that
you can diversify your microbiome and get it to a healthier state, this is something that can be
done with little risk or cost today. Options available to you are covered below, most of which
are focused on the bacterial part of your microbiome.

Future studies will explore the role of different types of microorganisms, beyond bacteria, such
as viruses and fungi, and utilize advanced analytical methods like shotgun metagenomics and
metabolomics to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the microbiome in
endometriosis. Newer technologies like this are significantly accelerating gains in knowledge.

Meanwhile, emerging understanding of the bidirectional relationship between endometriosis
and the microbiome has implications for potential treatment strategies available today.


Antibiotics could be used to target specific bacteria associated with dysbiosis in
endometriosis, especially if you are diagnosed with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
Animal studies have shown that treatment with antibiotics can reduce the size of endometriotic
lesions and associated inflammation. In humans, we know that chronic endometritis (infection
of the uterine cavity) seems to play a role in development of endo. However, this requires
expert guidance. It’s critical to exercise caution with antibiotic use to avoid disrupting healthy
commensal (good bacteria) microbiota and contributing to antimicrobial resistance. You don’t
want to grow a bug that might be resistant to multiple antibiotics down the line.


Probiotics are live bacteria that can have beneficial effects on your microbiome
health and diversity when consumed. Studies in animal models have demonstrated that certain
probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus gasseri, can suppress the development and growth of
endometriotic lesions. Probiotics may modulate the immune response and restore a healthier
microbiota composition, potentially mitigating the inflammatory processes associated with
endometriosis. However, again, this requires expert guidance because, for example, it could
lead to ineffectiveness against or exacerbation of SIBO. This is partly because there are at least
three different general types of SIBO, based on what type of gas is produced by the


Prebiotics are basically food substances that selectively promote the growth of
beneficial bacteria in the gut. By providing a favorable environment for beneficial bacteria,
prebiotics can help restore a healthy microbiota balance. An example of a prebiotic shown to
be beneficial in SIBO treatment is partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG). Further research is
needed to investigate the potential roles of prebiotics in endometriosis treatment, but it could
be a gamechanger for simple treatment of various intestinal disorders, leaky gut and so on.

Dietary modifications:

Diet can hugely influence the composition and activity of the
microbiome. Consuming a diet rich in fiber and plant-based foods, which are known to support
a diverse and healthy microbiota, may have beneficial effects on endometriosis. Low FODMAPs
diets, which restrict fermentable carbs, can help. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs),
found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, have shown anti-inflammatory properties and
have been associated with a lower incidence of endometriosis. Incorporating these dietary
changes, among many others, may help modulate the microbiome and reduce inflammation.


The microbiome has profound effects on the immune system, and
targeting the immune response could be a potential avenue for endometriosis treatment.
Modulating the immune system through therapies such as immune-suppressing medications or
immune-modulating agents may help regulate the inflammatory processes associated with
endometriosis. The idea here is to keep it as natural as possible, but sometimes prescription
medications may turn out to be necessary.

Please keep in mind that these treatment implications are based on current research, primarily
in the lab and animal models, and further studies are needed to validate their effectiveness and
safety in humans. Additionally, personalized approaches considering an individual’s specific
microbiota composition and disease characteristics may be necessary for optimal treatment
outcomes. It is exciting research in development and will be part of upcoming revolutionary
advances which take us far beyond hormonal manipulation for endo management. Since these
approaches are exploring the root cause of endo, treatments will likely be therapeutic as
opposed to simply something that reduces symptoms, which is the case with today’s hormonal

The best part is that with proper expert guidance, much of the above can be used today
because, in most cases, the risk and cost are relatively low.


Uzuner, C., Mak, J., El-Assaad, F., & Condous, G. (2023). The bidirectional relationship between
endometriosis and microbiome. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 14, 1110824. doi:

Moreno, I., Franasiak, J. M., & Endometrial Microbiome Consortium. (2020). Endometrial
microbiota—new player in town. Fertility and Sterility, 113(2), 303-304. doi:

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest Endometriosis Articles