should men who were exposed to DES in utero (or who may have been
exposed to DES in utero) be counseled?
Patients should be
reassured that the majority of men exposed to DES in utero (DES
Sons) will not experience DES-related health problems. However,
like all male patients, they should be informed about testicular
self-exams, and counseled to immediately report any symptoms relating
to the urogenital system Studies investigating the links between
DES exposure and testicular cancer have yielded mixed results (199,203,205,214,222,227,231).
Although it is not proven that DES exposure increases the risk of
urogenital cancer in DES Sons, any symptoms, including testicular
masses, hematuria, or other urogenital complaints, should be thoroughly
DES Sons 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 health
risks to DES Sons 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 DES
Mothers, DES Daughters and the Third Generation, refer to the following
For a complete list of the numbered citations
on this page see DES References.
Back to Top