DES Info: Did DES work.... the answer is NO but it caused a major tragedy!
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is an estrogen that was ﬁrst manufactured in a laboratory in 1938, so it is called a “synthetic estrogen.”
Starting in 1938 and into the 1970s physicians prescribed DES to pregnant women to prevent miscarriages and avoid other pregnancy problems. As a result, an estimated 5–10 million pregnant women and the children born of these pregnancies were exposed to DES in the United States.
Physicians prescribed DES to pregnant women on the theory that miscarriages and premature births occurred because some pregnant women did not produce enough estrogen naturally. At the time, physicians thought DES was safe and would prevent miscarriages and pre-term (early) births.
In 1953, published research showed that DES did not prevent miscarriages or premature births.