The DES Update Web site, created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offers a self-assessment guide for people who think they may have been exposed to DES, along with information about health risks associated with exposure to DES, a synthetic estrogen.
The site also provides DES case studies, presentations and self-study materials for doctors and other health- care professionals.
DES was once prescribed to prevent miscarriages or premature delivery. An estimated 5 million to 10 million people in the United States were exposed to DES between 1938 and 1971.
In 1971, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised doctors to stop prescribing DES to pregnant women because it had been linked to a rare vaginal cancer in girls and young women exposed to DES in the womb.
Additional research found an increased risk of breast cancer for women prescribed DES while they were pregnant. Women exposed to DES in the womb have lifelong increased risks of rare vaginal and cervical cancer, reproductive complications and infertility.
Men who were exposed to DES in the womb are at increased risk for noncancerous cysts on the testicles.
Here's where you can find the DES Update Web site. You can order print versions of the Web resources online or by calling the CDC toll-free at 1-888-232-6789.
Here's where you can find a list of resources about DES.