Could Endometriosis Be Caused By Bacteria?

Endometriosis is a common ailment affecting up to 15% of women of reproductive age (1). Fusobacterium has previously been associated with head, neck & dental infections (2), ulcerative colitis (3), and colorectal cancer (4). Researchers from Japan (1) recently discovered that 64% of 79 women with endometriosis were infected with Fusobacterium, while less than 10% of 76 women without endometriosis were infected. Second, they also found that signaling from Fusobacterium increased a chemical called TGF-beta which led quiescent fibroblasts to develop the ability to proliferate, adhere, and migrate in vitro. They also found that when they infected mice with fusobacterium there was an uptick in endometriosis lesions in those mice.

Thymol and Thymoquinone in black seed oil is known to inhibit fusobacterium when studied in reference to gingivitis in vitro (5). Whether black seed oil may be of benefit for endometriosis remains to be studied.

To Your Best Health,

Greg Steinke, MD, MPH


1. Muraoka A, et al. Fusobacterium infection facilitates the development of endometriosis through the phenotypic transition of endometrial fibroblasts. Sci Transl Med. 2023 Jun 14;15(700):eadd1531.

2. “Fusobacterium Species.” Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2021. Johns Hopkins Guides,

3. Su W, et al. Fusobacterium nucleatum Promotes the Development of Ulcerative Colitis by Inducing the Autophagic Cell Death of Intestinal Epithelial. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Nov 27;10:594806.

4. Ahn J, et al. Human gut microbiome and risk for colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Dec 18;105(24):1907-11.

5. Tada A, et al. Effect of thymoquinone on Fusobacterium nucleatum‑associated biofilm and inflammation. Mol Med Rep. 2020 Aug;22(2):643-650.


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