In the psychology context, DES refers to Diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogen that was prescribed to pregnant women between the 1940s and 1970s to prevent miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. However, it was later discovered that DES caused significant health problems in both the women who took it and their children.
DES was associated with a range of health issues, including an increased risk of breast cancer, reproductive tract cancers, infertility, and developmental abnormalities in the offspring of women who took the drug. Some of the specific examples of the health problems caused by DES include:
- Clear cell adenocarcinoma: This rare form of cancer affects the cells lining the reproductive organs and is linked to DES exposure in utero.
- Vaginal and cervical abnormalities: Women exposed to DES in utero may have structural abnormalities of the reproductive tract that can increase the risk of infertility, premature birth, and other complications during pregnancy.
- Testicular abnormalities: Men who were exposed to DES in utero may have an increased risk of testicular cancer and other reproductive abnormalities.