Endocrine disruptors and endometriosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Endometriosis is a hormone-dependent inflammatory gynecological disease of reproductive-age women. It is clinically and pathologically characterized by the presence of functional endometrium as heterogeneous lesions outside the uterine cavity. The two major symptoms are chronic pelvic pain and infertility, which profoundly affect women's reproductive health and quality of life. This significant individual and public health concerns underscore the importance of understanding the pathogenesis of endometriosis. The environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous agents that interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, signaling, or metabolism of hormones responsible for homeostasis, reproduction, and developmental processes. Endometriosis has been potentially linked to exposure to EDCs. In this review, based on the robust literature search, we have selected four endocrine disruptors (i) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)s (ii) dioxins (TCDD) (iii) bisphenol A (BPA) and its analogs and (iv) phthalates to elucidate their critical role in the etiopathogenesis of endometriosis. The epidemiological and experimental data discussed in this review indicate that these four EDCs activate multiple intracellular signaling pathways associated with proinflammation, estrogen, progesterone, prostaglandins, cell survival, apoptosis, migration, invasion, and growth of endometriosis. The available information strongly indicates that environmental exposure to EDCs such as PCBs, dioxins, BPA, and phthalates individually or collectively contribute to the pathophysiology of endometriosis. Further understanding of the molecular mechanisms of how these EDCs establish endometriosis and therapeutic strategies to mitigate the effects of these EDCs in the pathogenesis of endometriosis are timely needed. Moreover, understanding the interactive roles of these EDCs in the pathogenesis of endometriosis will help regulate the exposure to these EDCs in reproductive age women.

published proceedings

  • Reprod Toxicol

altmetric score

  • 14

author list (cited authors)

  • Dutta, S., Banu, S. K., & Arosh, J. A.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Dutta, Sudipta||Banu, Sakhila K||Arosh, Joe A

publication date

  • January 2023