In utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol: Adverse effects on the reproductive tract and reproductive performance in male and female offspring
1982 Study Abstract
Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero is associated with adverse effects on the reproductive tract in male and female progeny.
These effects include epididymal cysts, microphallus, cryptorchidism, and testicular hypoplasia in male subjects and adenosis, clear cell adenocarcinoma, and structural defects of the cervix, vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes in female subjects.
As these offspring have reached reproductive age, reports of adverse reproductive performance have been published, including still controversial reports of menstrual dysfunction and infertility.
More well established are increased rates of spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy, premature deliveries, and perinatal deaths, all contributing to an increase in overall adverse pregnancy outcome.
Often there is correlation between the DES-associated anatomic abnormalities in the reproductive tract and the adverse reproductive performance. Altered male reproductive capacity is also suggested by diminished semen analyses and sperm penetration assays. A detailed review of these effects of in utero DES exposure is presented.
- In utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol: Adverse effects on the reproductive tract and reproductive performance in male and female offspring, American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, NCBI PubMed, PMID: 6121486, 1982 Apr.
- Featured image credit Callie Gibson.