Exposure to DES may reveal pre-existing difficulties from generation to generation
1996 Study Abstract
The psychological consequences resulting from the exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES), a non-steroidal oestrogen, on the mother-daughter relationship are studied using semi-directive interviews with 43 daughters and 7 mothers treated with DES during their pregnancies.
Prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol and the mother-daughter relationship, US National Library of Medicine, European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, NCBI PubMed PMID: 8730622, 1996 Apr.
These women referred to gynaecological consultation for DES-related problems.
The daughters, exposed to DES during their foetal life, learned about DES after a pregnancy mishap (35% of the cases), or by accident (65% of the cases).
All of them were shocked when the existence of DES and its side effects were revealed to them.
Consequences on the mother-daughter relationship were
- absent in 60% of the cases,
- favourable in 20%,
- and negative in 20%.
Five percent of the women showed hostility towards the medical practice, but 65% were not suspicious of the drugs administered to them during their pregnancies. For 64% of them, administration of DES to their mother had been kept secret. In 7 out of 50 cases, parents alone came for medical assistance in order to manage the secret.
Exposure to DES may reveal pre-existing difficulties not only between the mother and the daughter, but sometimes beyond from generation to generation.