Project Director

Richards, Sean

Department Examiner

Giles, David K.; Symes, Steven


Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Endometriosis is a gynecological condition that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, is characterized by growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus, and encompasses metabolic, immunologic, and endocrine dysfunction. Despite its significant impact, endometriosis remains inadequately studied within the realm of women's health, emphasizing the crucial need for innovative approaches in the analysis and diagnosis of this complex condition. The cause of endometriosis is unknown however it could be influenced by genetics, environmental factors, diet, lifestyle, and notably composition of the gut microbiome. Recent scholarly interest has sparked inquiries into the correlations between endometriosis and the gut microbiome, and studies have unveiled altered gut microflora profiles with endometriosis as well as identified microbial metabolic byproducts that potentially influence disease development and progression. The associations between endometriosis and the gut microbiome can be evaluated using metabolomics, which is a rising branch in the sciences and medicine that involves the study of metabolites in the body and can be used to identify biomarkers to non-invasively analyze and diagnose a disease. Metabolomic studies have provided evidence for variations in gut microbiota abundance, composition, and diversity among individuals with endometriosis, alongside alterations in metabolites like short-chain fatty acids and estrogen-modulating bacteria that potentially impact the risk and progression of the condition. Leveraging fecal metabolomics to examine distinctions in gut microbiome composition specific to endometriosis, and identifying potential biomarkers, offers a non-invasive avenue for diagnosing the condition. Furthermore, the interplay between dietary factors, the gut microbiome, and endometriosis risk and progression underscore the significance of dietary interventions in mitigating disease outcomes. Evidence supports the beneficial role of fiber intake, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, foods rich in phytoestrogens, antioxidants like resveratrol and vitamins C, E, and D, and probiotics in reducing the risk and slowing the progression of endometriosis. While a causal relationship between altered gut microbiota profiles and endometriosis remains elusive, further exploration of the intricate connections between the gut and women's reproductive health is imperative. Studying the associations between endometriosis and the gut microbiome through metabolomics not only holds promise for enhancing diagnostic capabilities, but also for advancing minimally invasive therapeutic strategies in the management of endometriosis and related conditions.


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Endometriosis; Gastrointestinal system--Microbiology


endometriosis; gut microbiome; metabolomics; gut dysbiosis; nutrition; biomarkers for disease



Document Type



ii, 64 leaves







Included in

Microbiology Commons