DES update

This is a letter I just wrote the the CDC DES update page:

To whom it may concern,
I would like for the government to look into and admit that DES was prescribed by some doctors even after they were told to stop prescribing it. I was born in 1977 and have a cockscomb cervix, which is an evident marker of DES exposure. What I’ve read in the past few days about DES makes me *sick*! There is no other way to describe this pit in my stomach, when I realize that I was given a drug as a fetus that caused my cervix to develop abnormally, and my mom’s doctor ought to have known that it caused reproductive disorders.
I cannot be the only post-1971 victim of this drug. People like me–and all others who have reproductive disorders that may possibly be caused by DES exposure–need to be informed that the 1971 ruling was simply a warning, and not an outright ban. DES was not pulled from the market. In fact, when I was a pharmacy tech about 8 years ago, we used DES (the pharmacist had to compound it, and wouldn’t let any of us techs who were all female even touch the powder) for an elderly man in the nursing home who had a specific type of cancer.
We, and all my DES sisters and brothers, need to know that they may have been affected. Doctors need to know that post-1971 babies can be DES sons and daughters as well. Women need to know that their problems with infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, and preterm birth may be related to DES, and not “just one of those things.” Even more, it needs to be publicly proclaimed because DES exposure increases the likelihood of certain types of cancer. By not telling the full truth, women supposedly younger than 36 or so will not know that they too may be affected, and that they need more careful gynecological care. By not doing so, our lives may be at risk.
Thank you for your time and attention.

You are not “too young” to be a DES daughter!


4 Responses

  1. Thank you for writing the letter. I have had 3 mcs and I was born in 1974. I often wonder.

  2. I’m 19 and have a cockscomb cervix, I don’t know if I have been exposed to DES, or if I have any other side effects of it. I asked my doctor if it was anything to worry about, and she said no. It surprised her though, because it wasn’t something she’d seen in a while and in someone so young. Now I’m really curious, I hope it is just an benign abnormality.

  3. I’m 45 and was born with a cockcomb cervix which is odd because I was a teen pregnancy accident and was given up for adoption at birth. I found my birthmom and she said she did NOT take any drugs to prevent miscarriage! I carried two pregnancies to term without a problem, but my cervix has always annoyed me. The flap was quite large and bothered me, especially after I got uterine prolapse after giving birth. I eventually had a hysterectomy to remove my cervix and uterus and it was wonderful! I’m thrilled to be rid of it finally!

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