How should women who were exposed to DES in utero (or who may have been exposed to DES in utero) be counseled and treated?
Patients should be reassured that the majority of women exposed to DES in utero (DES Daughters) will not experience DES-related health problems. However, they should be counseled to maintain close follow-up, including immediately reporting any unusual vaginal symptoms, and annual examination in the absence of symptoms. Refer to NCI's steps for identification and management of DES Daughters for specific information.
DES Daughters should be encouraged to discuss the issue with their mothers, and, when possible, obtain their mother's obstetrical records. This is of particular importance since the health risks to DES Daughters are still being studied. Many women prescribed DES while pregnant are elderly. If their children and grandchildren are not informed of their potential risk, opportunities for future intervention may be lost.
For more information on health risks and ongoing studies for Women Prescribed DES While Pregnant, DES Sons and the Third Generation, refer to the following sections:
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