My own opinion is that DES caused intersexed development in the DES sons by blocking testicular testosterone production. DES is a potent chemical castration agent that for many years the treatment of choice for hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Just 3mg of DES per day is enough to fully chemically castrate an adult man; the starting dose as a miscarriage treatment was 5mg per day (and often went much higher during the later stages of the pregnancy). It’s a not widely appreciated fact, but male development isn’t driven directly by genes, but instead by hormones (primarily testosterone) produced in the testicles of a male fetus. Given the ability DES has to block testosterone production, it’s no surprise that many DES sons are physically and/or psychologically intersexed. The surprising thing is that there’s so little public awareness of it!
If the problem is just one of testosterone production being suppressed during the critical time sexual development was taking place, then I don’t see any reason for there to be any long term genetic effect or 3rd generation effects. However, one thought that’s occured to me is that DES daughters often have a great deal of difficulty getting pregnant and carrying the pregnancy to term, which puts them at vastly increased risk of medical intervention – and potentially being given hormonal medication during the pregnancy. If one of these hormonal treatments for miscarriage (DES) can cause problems with intersexed development, then the likelihood is that others can too. There’s one drug in particular called hydroxyprogesterone caproate, which is in widespread current use to prevent miscarriages and premature births, and is being given in doses which I’m sure would have some serious gender-bending effects if you were to give the same dose to an adult man.
In short, although DES was phased out 40 years ago, there’s plenty of other sex hormone derivatives still finding their way inside pregnant women and potentially causing many of the same problems. That’s why I’ve been trying so hard to get people to take me seriously, and see whether there’s a link between exposure to these drugs before birth and endocrine and intersex-related problems later in life!
A post comment by Hugh Easton
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources
- DES studies on cancers and screening.
- DES studies on epigenetics and transgenerational effects.
- DES studies on fertility and pregnancy.
- DES studies on gender identity and psychological health.
- DES studies on in-utero exposure to DES and side-effects.
- DES studies on the genital tract.
- Papers on DES lawsuits.
- DES videos and posts tagged DES, the DES-exposed, DES victims.
4 thoughts on “DES caused intersexed Development in the DES Sons by blocking Testicular Testosterone Production”
A great read.
I may have been exposed to DES I’ll never know for sure. I was born with a undescended testis that even after surgery brought it down it failed to grow more than the ten year old size it was when it was removed . Many years later it became malignant and turned out to be an fetal ovary and not a testis. In fact the other so called normal testis never matured to normal adult size. Because of this and my low T levels I also have hypogonadism, as one would expect. In other words I am intersex. Mostly male nature but also some female body development and personality.
In addition I had several very large Mature Teratoma (baby or fetal like) growing in my abdomen. These where growing my whole life in my body my whole life and most likely contributed to my feeling of being pregnant for thirty plus years. The largest of these where 14.5×8.5×6.5cm
Needless to say this has been a real hardship my whole life and it is only now that I’ve been putting the facts together.
I’m not sure but I suspect the doctors did some additional surgery when my undescended testis was repaired. First the scar on my abdomen was huge for such a minor surgery and second the nurse came into my hospital room and whispered that they saved me from being a girl. At ten years old I was too scared to tell anyone what she said. In addition the doctors left the hospital, never speaking to my parents about the surgery. The next year I had more surgery. My parents never question anyone about my surgery.
How I discovered the growing cancer turned out to be another horror story.
I was treated for Ovarian cancer at the Mayo Clinic and several other hospitals in Minnesota.
thank you so much for sharing your story with us Dave