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Published online: 2023-09-28

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Relationship between the gut microbiome and endometriosis and its role in pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment: a systematic review

Isabella Weber1, Anna Sienko1, Aleksandra Urban2, Carolyn Szwed3, Krzysztof Czajkowski2, Pawel Basta4, Jacek Sienko2

Abstract

Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting approximately 10% of women. It is defined as endometrial tissue outside of the uterus and produces a variety of symptoms including pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, and intermenstrual bleeding. Although several theories have been postulated regarding the pathogenesis of endometriosis, no theory has provided a complete explanation, therefore limiting our progress in diagnostic tools and management of endometriosis. Recently, much attention has been paid to the importance and role of the gut microbiome in endometriosis. As defined by Joshua Lederberg — microbiome is a set of the genome of microorganisms inhabiting a human body, including commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms. The aim of this systematic review was to conduct a search in the Embase, Medline, and PubMed databases for literature from July 2013 to July 2023 regarding the relationship between the gut microbiome and endometriosis. 147 records were screened, of which 26 met the eligibility criteria, and 16 were included in this review. Our review concludes that patients with endometriosis show an altered gut microbiome, and that this has the potential to provide insight for pathogenesis, markers for diagnosis, as well as therapeutic options for treatment of endometriosis. Future research is necessary to confirm this and further investigate the relationship between the gut microbiome and endometriosis.

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