Association between fetal DES-exposure and psychiatric disorders in adolescence/adulthood

Psychiatric disorders evidence from a French cohort of 1002 prenatally DES-exposed children

identity-disorder image
HHORAGES Association work demonstrates that prenatal exposure to DES is associated with a high risk of psychiatric disorders in adolescence and adulthood. Image by JustCallMe_♥Bethy♥.

2015 Study Abstract

In utero diethylstibestrol (DES) exposure has been demonstrated to be associated with somatic abnormalities in adult men and women. Conversely, the data are contradictory regarding the association with psychological or psychiatric disorders during adolescence and adulthood. This work was designed to determine whether prenatal exposure to DES affects brain development and whether it is associated with psychiatric disorders in male and female adolescents and young adults.

HHORAGES Association, a national patient support group, has assembled a cohort of 1280 women who took DES during pregnancy. We obtained questionnaire responses from 529 families, corresponding to 1182 children divided into three groups:

  1. Group 1 (n = 180): firstborn children without DES treatment,
  2. Group 2 (n = 740): exposed children,
  3. and Group 3 (n = 262): children born after a previous pregnancy treated by DES.

No psychiatric disorders were reported in Group 1. In Group 2, the incidence of disorders was drastically elevated (83.8%), and in Group 3, the incidence was still elevated (6.1%) compared with the general population. This work demonstrates that prenatal exposure to DES is associated with a high risk of psychiatric disorders in adolescence and adulthood.

Sources and more information
  • Association between fetal DES-exposure and psychiatric disorders in adolescence/adulthood: evidence from a French cohort of 1002 prenatally exposed children, Soyer-Gobillard MO, Paris F, Gaspari L, Courtet P, Sultan C., NCBI PMID: 26172930, 2015.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

2 thoughts on “Association between fetal DES-exposure and psychiatric disorders in adolescence/adulthood”

  1. My first bout of severe depression was when I was 16. I really struggled until I finally was prescribed Zoloft in 1994. I still have some down times but nothing compared to what I used to go through. My mother took a maximum dose of DES the entire time she was pregnant with me because she wanted a “healthy baby.” Her pregnancy prior to me resulted in a stillborn baby.

    1. Thanks for sharing your DES story and shining a light on a side effect of DES exposure rarely taken into consideration: depression. Your comment contributes to showing the wide range of devastating impacts DES exposure has had on people lives. Thanks.

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