Diethylstilbestrol exposure and masculinization in females

Masculinization of the female infant associated with estrogenic therapy alone during gestation

1959 Study Introduction

Masculinization of the female infant has in some instances been attributed to the antenatal exposure of the fetus to androgens from several sources. Virilizing hormones may arise:

  1. from the fetal adrenal in the adrenogenital syndrome due to congenital adrenocortical hyperplasia;
  2. from virilizing tumors in the mother (arrhenoblastoma);
  3. from the administration of primarily androgenic hormones to the mother during pregnancy;
  4. and from certain “progestins” administered to the mother during pregnancy.

This report concerns 4 female infants and children with some degree of masculinization who were recently seen in 3 different clinics. In each instance it was determined that the mother had received diethylstilbestrol alone during pregnancy.

There were no other factors discovered to account for these changes and it was considered that the estrogenic hormone probably played some role in producing the effects described.

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DES DIETHYLSTILBESTROL RESOURCES

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