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Obstet Gynecol. 1981 Nov;58(5 Suppl):35S-40S.

Diethylstilbestrol and other sex hormones during pregnancy.


Intrauterine exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) has been associated with ths subsequent rare development of clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina and cervix in exposed female progeny. These tumors have been seen thus far in patients between the ages of 7 and 29 years. In addition, nonmalignant epithelial and structural genital alterations have been frequently observed. The epithelial changes of adenosis, ectropion, metaplasia, and potential neoplasia are considered. Thus far, no increased risk of squamous cell neoplasia has been demonstrated in DES-exposed subjects. However, increased pregnancy wastage, including premature birth, does appear to be more common among DES-exposed women; this increase may be related to the structural uterine and cervical changes that have occurred. DES-exposed men have been demonstrated to have anatomic genital changes, but the effects of these changes, if any, on male infertility are not known. Masculinization of the female external genitalia, including phallic enlargement and labioscrotal fusion, has been reported following intrauterine exposure to certain progestational agents and androgens.

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