Endometriosis And Weight


Over the last thirty years, endometriosis cases have been steadily increasing. Even just a few years ago, awareness of the signs and symptoms of this condition was not common. However, as awareness grows, more research is being done, which means more and more treatment options are being discovered to help manage this painful condition. 

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissues that ought to be in the uterus are found elsewhere in the body. These tissues are usually found scattered across the pelvic and stomach area, where they sometimes attach themselves to other tissues or organs and cause pain. 

The uterine cells that attach themselves to other organs or cells are abnormal, and their presence interferes with normal functioning. The movement of cells from the uterus is enabled by the fluctuation in female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that occur during the menstrual cycle. 

The inflammation caused by endometriosis can lead to scarring, bruising, internal bleeding, bowel or urinary dysfunction, constipation, pelvic pain, and infertility. Endometriosis pain can be severe, potentially leading to psychological distress.1

Endometriosis is most commonly found in the pelvic area. It can attach to the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterosacral ligaments, or abdominal wall among other female reproductive organs. It can penetrate the bowel, bladder, intestines, appendix, rectum, or leg nerves, or it can seep into the spaces between the bladder, rectum, uterus, or vagina. In rare cases, endometriosis can spread outside the pelvic region into the kidneys, lungs, diaphragm, or brain.1 Depending on how severe the lesions are, medication or even surgery may be used to treat them.2

It has not been determined what causes endometriosis. However, the risk factor for developing it is simply being assigned female at birth, and being between the ages of 15 - 44 years. This means that all people AFAB of reproductive age are at risk of developing endometriosis at any point in their lives. However, some studies have shown that the risk is higher in younger people. 


The symptoms of endometriosis may often feel like premenstrual symptoms (PMS) but if they are recurring and unbearable, you should contact your doctor.  

Some of the symptoms include: 

The connection between endometriosis and weight is ambiguous

Weight gain is a tricky symptom that cannot be exactly linked to any condition. There are varying opinions about the role of weight in endometriosis. Endometriosis has traditionally been associated with women who have a lower BMI. However, there is some evidence to suggest that endometriosis can lead to weight gain over time. 

Treatment for endometriosis may include medications such as the contraceptive pill and, in severe cases, a hysterectomy to relieve pain, all of which can cause weight gain. Similarly, it has been established that endometriosis is associated with high estrogen levels.5 Estrogen is the hormone responsible for endometrial thickening during your menstrual cycle. Too much estrogen can cause bloating, irregular periods, breast tenderness, and weight gain.

Obesity increases the risk of endometrial cancer

Obesity is a risk factor for endometrial cancer.6 Having more fat tissue can increase a person’s estrogen levels, which then increases the risk of developing endometrial cancer. If you are obese and worried about the likelihood of developing cancer, you may want to speak with your doctor about healthy weight loss options. 

Sudden weight gain can be a symptom of endometriosis

The association between weight gain and endometriosis is yet to be clearly established. As was noted earlier, the condition is ever-evolving and more knowledge is being gained each day from research.


Endometriosis is a fairly common condition that affects women of reproductive ages. There may not be a specific cause for endometriosis but there are several treatment options available. Some treatment options include the use of contraceptive pills or hormonal therapy to regulate the female hormones, which can sometimes trigger bloating and weight gain. 

If you think that you have suddenly gained weight without any explanation, you may want to check with your doctor, although weight gain can be an indication of several things. 

Endometriosis is painful, but manageable. If you feel that the condition is having a negative effect on your mental health, do not hesitate to reach out to a support group. You do not have to suffer alone. 


  1. Endometriosis: defining it, recognizing it, and treating it [Internet]. Endometriosis : Causes - Symptoms - Diagnosis - and Treatment. 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 8]. Available from: https://www.endofound.org/endometriosis 
  2. Hediger ML, Hartnett HJ, Buck Louis GM. Association of endometriosis with body size and figure. Fertil Steril [Internet]. 2005 Nov [cited 2022 Nov 8];84(5):1366–74. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1343487/
  3. Symptoms of endometriosis | myendometriosisteam [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 8]. Available from: https://www.myendometriosisteam.com/resources/symptoms-of-endometriosis
  4. Does endometriosis cause weight gain? | specialist in nyc [Internet]. https://maidenlanemedical.com/endometriosis/. [cited 2022 Nov 8]. Available from: https://maidenlanemedical.com/endometriosis/endometriosis-and-weight-gain/
  5. Endo feels: weight gain, painful sex, and other side effects nobody likes to talk about [Internet]. Yoppie. [cited 2022 Nov 8]. Available from: https://yoppie.com/blog/endometriosis-side-effects 
  6. CDCBreastCancer. What are the risk factors for uterine cancer? [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 8]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/uterine/basic_info/risk_factors.htm

Toluwanimi Ojeniyi

Master of Science - MS, Global Health, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Toluwanimi is a Public Health specialist with experience in programs administration and health insurance. She is currently undertaking a Masters in Global Health at the University of Ibadan.
She is a skilled health educator and health writer. In her free time, she reads and volunteers.

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