According to a recent study, endometriosis may be brought on by a kind of bacteria that is often present in the mouth and intestines.
Additionally, research suggests that antibiotics may be able to treat the painful, long-lasting condition causing the lining of the uterus to grow outside of the cavity.
According to a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers in Japan identified the connection while analyzing vaginal swab samples obtained from 155 women, 79 of whom had endometriosis and 76 of whom did not.
Fusobacterium, a species of bacteria that may cause gum disease and other disorders of the mouth and stomach, was found in the uterine lining of nearly two-thirds of women diagnosed with endometriosis.
According to a statement, just 1 in 10 of the healthy women also did.
Cancer biologist and co-author of the study, Yutaka Kondo, told The Washington Post that “Previously, nobody thought that endometriosis came from a bacterial infection, so this is a very new idea.”
The scientists infected mice with Fusobacterium before examining the uterine lining to prove that the bacteria was to blame.
The endometriosis-related lesions in the mice manifested.
According to the release, after administering antibiotics to the mice, researchers “observed better lesion development” with a reduction in the size and number of lesions.
In the statement, Kondo said that “Eradication of this bacterium by antibiotic treatment could be an approach to treat endometriosis for women who are positive for Fusobacteria infection, and such women could be easily identified by vaginal swab or uterus swab.”
That being said, as per the publication, Kondo emphasized that more research is needed so that “treatments can be derived from this new study.”
In severe circumstances, endometriosis can result in infertility. It is a painful and crippling condition.
The World Health Organization estimates 10 percent of women and girls worldwide who are of reproductive age are affected by it.
According to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, it translates to around 11 percent of American women between the ages of 15 and 44.
Reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Allison K. Rodgers, told the same publication that “Medicine puts a Band-Aid on it. I can give you medicine to stop your periods; I can give you birth control pills; I can give you pain meds; I can cut it out with surgery. But we haven’t figured out the why, and once we start figuring out the why, we’ll be able to design targeted approaches for treatment.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, the only therapies for endometriosis at this time are hormonal drugs like birth control pills or surgery to remove the reproductive organs.
According to the release, clinical studies of the antibiotic therapy are now being carried out on patients by the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Nagoya University Hospital.