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DES-exposed third generation women have increased risks of menstrual aberrations, preterm birth, and possibly ectopic pregnancy - DES Granddaughters - D.E.S is it french organization

Petition for an adapted maternity leave: DES Granddaughters face special risks during pregnancy

In France, diethylstilbestrol (DES), marketed under numerous brand names such as Distilbène®, Stilboestrol-Borne® or Furostilboestrol®, has been prescribed to approximately 200,000 pregnant women, over a period of 30 years.

DES received a marketing authorization in 1945, at a time when the carcinogenic properties of synthetic estrogens, such as diethylstilbestrol, were being debated.

DES continued to be prescribed after 1953, even though W.J. Dieckmann published a study demonstrating the total ineffectiveness of the drug for all its indications in pregnant women, namely to prevent miscarriage.

In 19701 and 19712, A.L Herbst published his work, which revealed an increased incidence of a very rare type of cancer in DES Daughters (exposed in utero).

This discovery was a shock: the United States banned the drug use in pregnancy. This ban has been soon followed by other countries.

But in France nothing seemed to be able to stop the marketing of diethylstilbestrol: the drug continued to be prescribed until 1977.

Since the use of DES during pregnancy was banned, numerous studies have demonstred that diethylstilbestrol, now classified as an endocrine disruptor, has been implicated in numerous health problems in children exposed in utero, as well as in their children: the third generation (offspring of DES Daughters and Sons).

A large proportion of DES Grandchildren are now of childbearing age.


DES Granddaughters face special risks during pregnancy

A study published in 20191 reveals that daughters of women exposed to DES before birth (in the womb), DES Granddaughters have a higher risk of having: irregular menstrual cycles, amenorrhea and, like DES Daughters, premature delivery and ectopic pregnancies.

This may be due to the transgenerational effects of diethylstilbestrol, an endocrine disruptor which, as its name suggests, alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system in humans.

One of the authors of this study is none other than Arthur L Herbst, the American professor who published the two studies revealing an increased incidence of a rare cancer called clear cell adenocarcinoma in DES Daughters (exposed in utero), studies which are at the origin of the DES ban.


Diagram showing Third Generation Study women in the present analysis (dark gray).
Diagram showing Third Generation Study women in the present analysis (dark gray).3.


D.E.S is it Association launches today an online petition in order to ask for a specific follow-up and care for DES Granddaughters, as it is currently the case for DES Daughters.

We ask that the French decrees of June 20, 20064 and July 1, 20105 also apply to these women whose pregnancies may be pathological.

We ask that the law voted on December 24, 2004 also apply to DES Granddaughters, so that they can "benefit from care during pregnancy from the 1st day of their work stoppage, under the same conditions of compensation as the legal maternity leave"6.

Indeed, for D.E.S is it, the pregnancies of DES Granddaughters are indeed "DES pregnancies" and as such, require rest in order to minimize the risks.

To sign the online petition, please follow this link:ès-buzyn-prise-en-charge-spécifique-des-grossesses-pour-les-petites-filles-distilbène-des



1 Herbst AL et al. Adenocarcinoma of the vagina in adolescence. Cancer 1970;25:745-7.

2 Herbst AL et al. Adenocarcinoma of the vagina association of maternal stilbestroltherapie with tumor appearance in young women. N Engl J Med. 1971;284:878-81.

3 Titus L, Hatch EE, Drake KM, Parker SE, Hyer M, Palmer JR, Strohsnitter WC, Adam E, Herbst AL, Huo D, Hoover RN, Troisi R. Reproductive and hormone-related outcomes in women whose mothers were exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol (DES): A report from the US National Cancer Institute DES Third Generation Study. Reprod Toxicol. 2019 Mar;84:32-38. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.12.008. Epub 2018 Dec 27

4 Décret n° 2006-773 du 30 juin 2006 portant application de l'article 32 de la loi n° 2004-1370 du 20 décembre 2004 de financement de la sécurité sociale pour 2005

5 Décret n° 2010-745 du 1er juillet 2010 portant application pour les agents publics de l'article 32 de la loi n° 2004-1370 du 20 décembre 2004 de financement de la sécurité sociale pour 2005

6 - Les grossesses pathologiques liées au diéthylstilbestrol (des).

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