DES Exposure: How Many People are Affected?

It is still not known how many people are DES exposed worldwide. Many people remain unaware of their exposure and the potential adverse health effects of diethylstilbestrol. Many don’t make the link between DES exposure and the health problems they are facing and sometimes even doctors don’t make that link either.

Anyone born or pregnant in the US between 1938 and 1971, and until the mid-’80s in some European countries (until 1977 in France), may have been exposed. In the United States alone an estimated 5 -10 million people were exposed to Diethylstilbestrol, including women who were prescribed DES while pregnant, and the children born of those pregnancies.

On a pro rata basis with research done in the Netherlands and in America, the total number of people exposed to Diethylstilboestrol in the UK may be as high as 300,000. An estimated 200,000 French mothers have been prescribed DES and have given birth to 160,000 DES exposed daughters and sons. For Australia, an estimated 740,000 individuals have been DES exposed. DES has been and still is a well kept secret, a taboo subject not only in families but within the medical community too.