Helping women with chronic illnesses

Endometriosis Blog: Are There Environmental Factors That We Can Control??

Many women with endometriosis are aware that it can be a genetic disease. While some women are the only ones in their family who have endometriosis (that they are aware of, anyway!), many other women don’t understand why they have endometriosis.

Maybe you already have endometriosis and you don’t want to do anything to make it worse. Maybe you have endometriosis and don’t want the illness to be expressed in loved ones who may already have genetics working against them. (See previous post: “Endometriosis Blog: What Is Epigenetics?? Can “Environment Become Heredity??)

Having a genetic predisposition to endometriosis does NOT necessarily mean that endometriosis will express itself in vulnerable individuals.

I’m certainly no scientist or medical researcher. However, I have heard presentations and I have read about environmental links between endometriosis and various chemicals and pesticides. Such potentially harmful chemicals and pesticides can be found in personal care products, cosmetics, and even the food we eat!

Did you know that cooking/microwaving foods in plastic can cause chemicals from the plastic to leach into the food? Did you know that some of these leached chemicals can mimic estrogens in the body?!

Did you know that PVC (i.e. used to make shower curtains, IV fluid bags, and many other items) can also cause harm… particularly to women with endometriosis whose immune systems are likely to already be compromised (and who have more medical interventions than many other people do)?!

Are you aware that the bleaching process used to whiten sanitary pads and tampons (to apparently create the illusion that they are “sterile”) can be harmful too and that there are organic alternatives available on the market?!

Below are numerous sources of information regarding environmental factors that may impact endometriosis patients.

I believe it’s good to have some basic understanding of products and chemicals that can be particularly harmful to endometriosis patients (or that may help endometriosis to express itself in genetically vulnerable individuals).

Here is some information that you may find of interest if you have endometriosis and/or if you have loved ones who don’t have endometriosis but may be at increased risk genetically for it.

By getting informed about environmental risks associated with endometriosis, it’s possible you may be able to prevent someone you love from experiencing this potentially devastating illness!

Here are some websites of interest to learn more about this…


First, the Endometriosis Association’s “Endo & the Environment” website section: (general environmental information)

Here is some more information from The Endometriosis Association: (information on PVC)

The Endometriosis Association’s information on endocrine disruptors, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and dioxin (including downloadable PDFs):


All of this information can be overwhelming. While learning about the many risk factors associated with endometriosis can be daunting, the good news is that there are factors you can control like avoiding chemicals known to be potentially harmful, focusing on sound nutritional choices (i.e. eating as much organic food as possible to avoid pesticide exposure, for example), and using products that are less likely to aggravate symptoms or put loved ones at risk for developing or worsening endometriosis.

Look in the next post for some more information regarding risk factors for endometriosis patients and some possible ways to prevent or minimize suffering associated with endometriosis.

While the process of learning about potentially harmful products and chemicals for endometriosis patients can be overwhelming, I believe it’s important to get a handle on the basic information. Having knowledge of what the risks are and how to minimize or avoid them is a way of taking control and managing (or maybe even preventing) endometriosis symptoms.

So stay tuned for more information that may help you to take some control when dealing with this challenging illness. Every little bit helps and making some small changes can make a difference.

This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

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