Relationship between DES exposure in utero and male infertility

In this 1981 study, 80% of the DES-exposed males qualified as infertile and demonstrated at least one abnormality of the reproductive organs.

Abstract

Possible relationship between in utero diethylstilbestrol exposure and male fertility, American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, NCBI PubMed PMID: 7234914, 1981 May.

Seventeen men who were exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol (DES), 12 non-DES-exposed volunteers, and 11 fertile control subjects were evaluated by physical examination, seminal fluid analysis, and sperm penetration assay (SPA).

  • Fourteen of the 17 male subjects exposed to DES in utero and two of the 12 non-DES-exposed volunteers had SPAs of less than 14% and qualified as infertile by the criteria of this test.
  • All 11 fertile control subjects had demonstrated SPA values in the fertile range.
  • Thirteen of the 17 DES-exposed male subjects, four of the 12 non-DES-exposed volunteers, and four of the 11 fertile control subjects demonstrated at least one abnormality of the reproductive organs.
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