DES / Diethylstilbestrol

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:49 by admin
Diethylstilbestrol, or DES, is a synthetic estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that is responsible for sexual development in females. From 1938 until 1971 DES was given to certain pregnant women to prevent miscarriages.

In the United States, an estimated 5-10 million people were exposed to DES during 1938-1971, including women who were prescribed DES while pregnant and the female and male children born of these pregnancies.

In the 1960s the drug's effectiveness was questioned and soon DES's safety came under fire. In 1971, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Drug Bulletin advising physicians to stop prescribing DES to pregnant women. Today, DES is never given to pregnant women because it has been shown to increase the incidence of cervical and vaginal cancers known as clear cell carcinoma in female offspring. Additionally, daughters whose mothers took DES during pregnancy have an increased risk of suffering from irregular menstruation and infertility. Furthermore, these daughters may have more tubal pregnancies, miscarriages and premature deliveries.

Taking DES during pregnancy may also compromise male offspring health by decreasing fertility, increasing the risk of developing testicular cancer and other testicular ailments and abnormalities.

It may be important to see a doctor if your mother received DES during pregnancy. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Pregnancy & Female Reproduction Drugs: Overview
  2. Breast Cancer
  3. Cervical Cancer
  4. Cervical Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma
  5. Epididymal Cysts
  6. Male Infertility: Overview
  7. Premature Infants: Overview
  8. Reproductive System: Overview
  9. Testicular Cancer: Overview
  10. Vaginal Cancer
  11. Vaginal Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma
  12. DES / Diethylstilbestrol: Frequently Asked Questions
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