Learn how to spot and avoid common scams with AARP's Fraud Resource Center. Try it today!

Gold Conversationalist

DES Info: Are you are a DES Daughter, DES Son or DES Grandchild?

Message 1 of 1

A must read...


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the watchdog that keeps us from harm. They keep the scientists and drug manufacturers from heaping useless and dangerous drugs upon us. When we take an FDA approved medication we can go to sleep at night and not worry about its safety. If you believe this, I have some ocean front property for sale right here in Oklahoma.


DES (diethylstilbestrol) was an FDA approved drug and widely prescribed to women around the world who had troubled pregnancies. From the 1940s – 1970s women everywhere embraced it as the miracle that would allow them to have children. For many, it proved to be a “Trojan horse.”

In a 1953 study the University of Chicago found DES was ineffective at preventing miscarriages or helping troubled pregnancies. However, this study didn’t cause the FDA to re-assess the use of DES and it didn’t keep doctors from prescribing it to unsuspecting women.


It took the 1971 publication of a report in the New England Journal of Medicine to stir the FDA to action. Exposure to DES in utero was linked to a rare vaginal/cervix cancer in DES daughters.

Today, we know the 1971 report to be more than true. Exposure to DES not only causes the rare form of vaginal/cervix cancer, clear cell adenocarcinoma in DES daughters, it can affect DES sons and third generation impact studies are underway. New studies have found DES daughters also have an increased risk for many other types of cancers as well.


If you’re a DES daughter how do you cope? At first, there is always the shock. The wondering and fear sets in almost immediately. Will I get cancer because my mom took DES? What if I die, what will my kids do – I don’t want to leave my family. But, since DES exposure in utero is more like a ticking time bomb, with little going on until the explosion, it is often forgotten.


For many the fast pace of the life they live, caring for children, family events, and family problems surge to the forefront. DES exposure is forgotten, or at least put way down the list of things to be concerned about. For others it’s like an albatross that they can’t get rid of – always present, always reminding them of the short future they may have.


Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for DES daughters or DES Sons. Life must go on and like many other threats in our lives it can’t be allowed to take over. But it shouldn’t be taken lightly either.


Our first recommendation is to tell your spouse, your close friends, even your kids when they get older. Form a group that won’t let you forget that you’re a DES daughter, DES Son or DES Grandchild. Next, please have your annual checkups. Tell your doctor about the DES exposure. Confirm you are getting the correct preventive medical procedures.




Finally, research and investigate. Read all you can about DES exposure. Find the answers to any questions you have. Know your enemy.




Karen M. Fernandes
Report Inappropriate Content
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Are you new to the online community? Say Hi and tell us a bit about yourself, your interests, and how we can help make this community a great experience for you!

close-up group of seniors smiling at camera