Childhood Abuse Linked to Endometriosis Risk

Childhood Abuse Linked to Endometriosis Risk

Women who suffer abuse as girls have a statistically higher risk of developing endometriosis later in life as women. New studies, from Europe and the United States, both point to this increased risk. The increased risk varies based on what kind of abuse was suffered, but the risk is greater for victims of all abuse, whether the abuse was emotional, sexual, or physical.

When a woman has endometriosis, she experiences pain radiating out from her pelvis and abdomen. The pain is caused by uterine tissue which spreads out from the uterus. It is a very frequent reproductive issue for women and affects about one in ten women in the United States. Previous studies had found links between childhood abuse and other health issues, including uterine fibroids and even basic hypertension. Based on those findings, the new studies set out to look for other connections.

Both studies interviewed women, and correlated the answers to questionnaires with their medical history. In each study, clear evidence was uncovered pointing to the increased risk caused by abusive episodes early in the women’s lives. Further, they were able to index the higher risk based on what kinds of abuse were suffered. For example, simple physical abuse was only a ten percent greater chance of issues; but a combination of both physical as well as sexual abuse, of a severe nature, showed a nearly eighty percent higher chance of subsequent medical issues.

Key Points:

  • 1Women are more likely to develop endometriosis as adults if they were abused in their childhood.
  • 2Roughly 10 percent of women suffer endometriosis. It is a painful condition occurring in the uterus lining.
  • 3It is believed that this correlation is due to a stress response from the body.


Childhood maltreatment is often an underestimated and un-investigated risk factor for different adult diseases