Reproductive outcomes in men with prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol

This 2005 study suggested that DES-exposed men are more likely than the unexposed to have an experience with infertility ; the effect/risk increasing iwith advancing age.


Reproductive outcomes in men with prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol, Fertility and sterility, NCBI PubMed PMID: 16359959, 2005 Dec.
Full study: Fertility and sterility, December 2005 Volume 84, Issue 6, Pages 1649–1656, S0015-0282(05)02956-0, 2005 Dec.

To examine prenatal diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure in relation to male reproductive outcomes.

Prospective observational study.

Participants were identified through record review, clinical trial participation, or an obstetrics clinic.

A total of 1,085 DES-exposed and 1,047 unexposed men.

Participants were exposed prenatally to DES through the mother’s obstetrics care or clinical trial participation.

Infertility; never fathering a pregnancy or live birth; number of pregnancies or live births fathered.

We found little evidence that prenatal DES exposure affects the likelihood of never fathering a pregnancy or live birth, or influences the mean number of fathered pregnancies or live births.

  • Our data suggest that DES-exposed men are slightly more likely to experience infertility (relative risk [RR] = 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0-1.6).
  • The DES dose and gestational timing did not influence infertility or the number of pregnancies or live births fathered, but results were inconsistent for dose effects on the likelihood of never fathering a pregnancy or a live birth.

Prenatal DES exposure may be associated with a slightly increased risk of having an infertility experience, but does not increase the likelihood of never fathering a pregnancy or a live birth, or the number of pregnancies or live births fathered.

Although speculative, this data may reflect an increased effect of DES on infertility with advancing age.

Click to download the full study.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

2 Replies to “Reproductive outcomes in men with prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol”

  1. This is one of the DES sons “whitewash” papers, with Dr Titus as a lead author. She knows perfectly well what it’s done to us. She did a Facebook live stream last year with DES Action, during which she completely avoided answering all the hard questions people such as Joelle Francis, Jill Escher and I threw at her.

    This is a teleconference about DES sons in 2003 in which she was a participant, and during which she told numerous lies about effects on sons, e.g.

    “Results from a few studies, including those based on the Dieckmann and Mayo men, provide little evidence of sperm abnormalities, although one study suggested that sperm motility might be lower in the DES exposed men. “

    The studies on the Dieckmann cohort showed dramatically reduced sperm counts, smaller ejaculate volumes, and high rates of abnormal sperm. The Mayo cohort are “fake” DES sons, whose average exposure was far smaller than that recommended by Drs Smith and Smith, and published in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR).

    “There has been considerable interest in the possibility that prenatal exposure to DES influences sexual behavior, including sexual orientation. A small number of previous studies of sexual behavior were conducted by psychologists who had access to small groups of DES exposed men, and the results probably are not reliable. A study of the Mayo men found no differences in age at onset of puberty, frequency of sexual intercourse, sexual satisfaction or occurrence of impotency. A report based on the Dieckmann study indicated that DES exposed men were less likely than unexposed men to report a decrease in sex drive lasting at least three months. “

    Cherry picking stuff to make out that there were no significant effects on sons. Focusing on sexual orientation, while scrupulously ignoring effects on gender identity.

    Here’s Dr Kerlin’s question, which she completely evaded answering:

    “I have a question briefly. Our network is about five years old, and I’m quite familiar with your research study on psychosexual effects and have been through actually the entire range of studies going back to the 1970s that have looked at psychosexual effects and gender issues in DES exposed people. I wonder if you would briefly just address the question of why it could be possible that although your study seems to be finding “no or very little impact on adult sexual behavior,” we have, in fact, in our network found over 100 individuals with known or likely exposure who also have a history of gender variance experiences or transsexualism. “

    Part of her answer (none of which addressed Dr Kerlin’s question):

    “A very important strength of the NCI study is that every single person in that study has DES exposure confirmed by medical records. While medical records may not be infallible, that’s about as close to perfection as we can get. “

    It turns out that the entirety of the Mayo cohort had smaller exposures and over shorter durations than under the standard dosing schedule recommended in the PDR. Their median exposure was 15x smaller. How can you draw valid conclusions about the effects of a drug from studying people whose exposure was always a lot lower than when the drug was prescribed according to the manufacturer’s recommendation? It’s the kind of thing you do when you don’t want to find answers, but instead want to hide the harm the drug has caused. Shame on Dr Titus and the other senior CDC officials who’ve participated in this long running cover up.

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