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DES and Pregnancy

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic form of oestrogen that was used between the early 1940s and 1971. Some women took DES during pregnancy to prevent certain complications. Their DES-exposed daughters have an increased chance of developing abnormal cells (dysplasia) in the cervix and vagina, as well as menstrual problem , and an increased risk of miscarriage , ectopic pregnancy , and stillbirth . In addition, a rare type of vaginal and cervical cancer can occur in DES-exposed daughters. DES daughters should tell their doctor about their exposure. They should also have pelvic exams by a doctor familiar with conditions related to DES.

Women who took DES during pregnancy may have a slightly higher risk for developing breast cancer. These women should tell their doctor about their exposure. At this time, there does not appear to be an increased risk of breast cancer for daughters who were exposed to DES before birth. However, more studies are needed as these daughters enter the age range when breast cancer is more common.

There is evidence that DES-exposed sons may have testicular abnormalities, such as undescended or abnormally small testicles. The possible risk for testicular cancer in these men is currently under study.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. CancerNet, National Cancer Institute:

Other HON resources 
   From MedHunt

Diethylstilbestrol & Pregnancy
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Aaron M. Levine Law-offices

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Contact Last modified: Jun 25 2002