Targeting oxidative stress to treat endometriosis Academic Article uri icon


  • Introduction: Endometriosis affects 10% of women of reproductive age. It is defined as the presence of implanted active endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. The exact pathophysiology of endometriosis is still uncertain, although several optional etiological theories have been suggested. Being so common, a novel treatment for endometriosis is widely quested. Recent studies addressing the pathological characteristics of endometriosis have revealed a vicious cycle in which oxidative stress (OS) is generated, which in turn facilitates the implantation of the ectopic endometrium. At the same time, the generation of high amounts of reactive oxygen species further triggers a state of OS. Areas covered: The author examined the evidence associating OS and endometriosis. After establishing an association, a search for antioxidant agents that were investigated specifically on endometriosis patients are described including Vitamins C and E, melatonin, resveratrol, xanthohumol and epigallocatechin-3-gallate. A significant effect of all the reviewed antioxidants on endometriosis is reported. Expert opinion: Aiming for the reduction of OS as the treatment goal for endometriosis looks promising. However, since most of the studies are either in vitro or are animal based, further studies on human subjects are deemed necessary to elucidate the impact of OS reduction on patients with endometriosis.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015