Regular Contributor

DES Info: Five Scary and Shocking Facts about Diethylstilbestrol (DES)

Diethylstilbestrol ~ tragedy - Copy.jpg1. As early as 1939, researchers had shown that DES Diethylstilbestrol could cause cancer and changes in the reproductive tracts of mice and rats, but drug companies ignored these results.
DES did not lead to healthier babies, nor did it prevent miscarriages, according to research that began appearing in 1953
2. In 1953, a study of 2000 women at the University of Chicago showed that DES did not prevent miscarriage; on the contrary, it was associated with increases in premature labor and a higher rate of abortions.
3. Despite this study, the drug continued to be used. It wasn’t until 1971 that American drug companies were legally obliged to label DES “unsuitable for pregnant women”. The FDA did not ban the drug but issued a contraindication which means that the drug DES continued to be prescribed to pregnant women even after the link between a rare form of vaginal cancer in young women and prenatal exposure to DES was established.
4. A whole generation of new medical students and doctors don’t know about Diethylstilbestrol, yet a study published in 2011 confirmed lifetime risk of adverse health effect in DES daughters (the youngest are in their mid 30′s early 40′s). DES is one of those cases where the patients often know more about its effects than the doctors.
5. DES is a multi-generational tragedy. Research by the Netherlands Cancer Institute in 2002 suggests that hypospadias a misplaced opening of the **bleep** occurred 20 times more frequently among third-generation sons.
In laboratory studies of elderly third-generation DES-exposed mice born to DES daughter mice, an increased risk of uterine cancers, benign & malignant ovarian tumors and lymphomas were found. Third-generation male mice were shown to be at risk for certain reproductive tract tumors.
The DES Tragedy continues….
Periodic Contributor

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic estrogen that was prescribed to pregnant women in the mid-20th century to prevent miscarriages and other pregnancy complications. However, it was later discovered that DES posed significant health risks to both the mothers who took it and the children who were exposed to it in the womb. Here are five scary and shocking facts about DES:

  1. Developmental Abnormalities: One of the most shocking effects of DES exposure is the development of reproductive and other physical abnormalities in the children of women who took the drug during pregnancy. DES daughters, as they are known, may experience structural abnormalities in their reproductive organs, such as an increased risk of vaginal and cervical cancer, infertility, and a higher likelihood of experiencing pregnancy complications. DES sons may also face health issues, including an increased risk of testicular cancer and other reproductive disorders.

  2. Multigenerational Impact: DES not only affected the individuals directly exposed to the drug but also had a multigenerational impact. Studies have shown that the daughters and sons of women who took DES during pregnancy may also face an increased risk of certain health conditions, even if they were not directly exposed to the drug themselves. This means that the harmful effects of DES can be passed down to subsequent generations.

  3. Lack of FDA Regulation: DES was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use during pregnancy without adequate testing. It was widely prescribed for several decades until its dangers became apparent. This lack of regulation and oversight allowed a harmful drug to be distributed and administered to pregnant women without sufficient knowledge of its long-term effects.

  4. Widespread Exposure: It is estimated that around five to ten million pregnant women in the United States alone were exposed to DES between 1938 and 1971. The drug was also prescribed in other countries, so the number of affected individuals worldwide is much higher. This widespread exposure means that there are potentially millions of individuals who have been impacted by DES-related health issues.

  5. Legal Consequences: The health risks associated with DES led to numerous lawsuits against the manufacturers of the drug. Many individuals who suffered health problems as a result of DES exposure, or their families, sought compensation for medical costs and damages. The legal battles surrounding DES spanned many years and resulted in significant financial settlements and judgments against the drug manufacturers.

These facts highlight the tragic and shocking consequences of using DES during pregnancy. It serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of rigorous testing and regulation of pharmaceuticals to ensure the safety of patients.

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