Structural and functional abnormalities in the DES sons sex organs

The in utero effects of DES (Diethylstilbestrol) on the human male genital tract are reported in this follow-up study of male offspring of DES-treated mothers

1976 Study Abstract

Both anatomical and functional abnormalities were significantly greater in the DES-exposed males as compared to control males whose mothers were all participants in a prospective, randomized double blind study of the effects of DES on pregnancy at the Chicago Lying-in Hospital during the early 1950s.

Epididymal cysts, hypotrophic testes and capsular induration of the testes were among the more common genital lesions found in 27% of 134 DES-exposed males as compared to a 7% incidence in 119 control males.

Spermatozoa analyses revealed severely pathologic changes (Eliasson score greater than 10) in 29% of 28 DES-exposed males and 0% of 18 control males (with or without genital i.e., physical abnormalities).

Abnormal findings on physical examination combined with sperm abnormalities (Eliasson score greater than or equal to 5) were found in 29% of DES-exposed males versus 0% of 18 control males. Cytologic examinations did not reveal malignant cells from the following materials: urines before and after prostatic massage or ejaculation, prostatic fluids and aspirates from epididymal cysts.


  • Structural and functional abnormalities in the sex organs of male offspring of mothers treated with diethylstilbestrol (DES), The Journal of reproductive medicine, NCBI PubMed, PMID: 772199, 1976 April.

Have your say! Share your views