2003 Recommendations for the Identification and Management of DES-Exposed Individuals

It is clear that DES has long-term effects that may develop over time

image of doctor-and-tablet
The health effects of DES exposure that may impact DES-exposed persons as they age are unknown; therefore, it is essential that health care providers continue to identify persons exposed to DES and continue to offer increased surveillance. Photo by NEC Corporation of America.


Diethylstilbestrol (DES) update: recommendations for the identification and management of DES-exposed individuals, Journal of midwifery women’s health, NCBI PMID: 12589302, 2003 Jan-Feb.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was etiologically linked to clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina in 1971.

This 2003 article reviews on-going research and emerging information relevant to DES-related health risks, thereby enabling women’s health care providers to maintain an evidence-based practice for their DES-exposed patients.

To accomplish these goals, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has initiated a national education campaign. This article describes the reasons for this new initiative, the target audiences, the DES historical framework (including major studies and findings), and populations that are affected. Clinical steps for the identification and management of the DES-exposed individual and resultant implications for midwifery and women’s health practices are reviewed.


  • Introduction
  • Adenocarcinoma and Cervical Cancer
  • Other Cancers
  • Anatomic Abnormalities
  • Pregnancy Outcomes
  • Effects of DES on Sons Exposed in Utero
  • Gynecologic Care for DES Mothers
  • Diagnostic Procedures Used to Assess Adenosis in DES Daughters
  • Preconception Care for Women Exposed to DES in Utero
  • Obstetric Care of Women Exposed to DES in Utero
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

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