Trauma and endometriosis. A review. May we explain surgical phenotypes and natural history of the disease?

J Gynecol Obstet Hum Reprod. 2017 Mar;46(3):219-227. doi: 10.1016/j.jogoh.2016.12.008. Epub 2017 Feb 7.


Objective: The study was performed to evaluate whether trauma is an initial event of development of endometriosis.

Method: Using Medline database from January 1960 up to December 2014, a systematic review was made of all published studies using the keywords trauma, healing, injury, infection, hyperperistaltism, stretch and endometriosis, adenomyosis and trauma. Studies and review articles written in French and/or in English related to the topic were included and reviewed independently by two authors.

Results: The role of trauma is well-established for endometriotic lesions diagnosed in surgical scars. Various traumas including delivery, uterine curettage or incision, intraperitoneal hemorrhage, or occult pelvic inflammatory diseases could be involved to explain other localizations of the disease. Many data suggested that the healing process, particularly growth factors and the associated estrogen production, may facilitate the implantation and the growth of ectopic endometrial cells. After the initial, a traumatic event, the phenotype of the disease would depend on the tissue in which the endometriotic lesion grows.

Conclusions: The present literature review may support a potential role of a trauma as an initial event of endometriosis.

Keywords: Endometriosis; Healing; Natural history; Recurrences; Trauma.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cesarean Section
  • Cicatrix / complications
  • Curettage / adverse effects
  • Delivery, Obstetric / adverse effects
  • Endometriosis / etiology*
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / injuries
  • Hemorrhage / complications
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / complications
  • Peritoneal Diseases / complications
  • Uterus / surgery
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications