Registry for Research on Hormonal Transplacental Carcinogenesis


Urogenital Abnormalities: Urogenital Abnormalities in Men Exposed to Diethylstilbestrol in Utero. Palmer, J.R., Herbst, A.L., Noller, K.L., Boggs, D.A., Troisi, R., Titus-Ernstoff, L., Hatch, E.E., Wise, L.A., Strohsnitter, W.C., Hoover, R.N Environ Health 2009;8:37

There is some concern that DES-exposed sons may also have some reproductive abnormalities. To date, some genital tract abnormalities have been reported, such as epididymal cysts, cryptorchidism (undescended testis), and testicular hypoplasia (testis that are not fully developed). Males with undescended testicles or unusually small testicles have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer whether or not they are exposed to DES. A physician should evaluate these situations. Abnormalities in semen analyses have also been reported. An increased risk in the development of malignancy in DES-exposed males has not been demonstrated. Studies in the past have suggested possible infertility problems in DES-exposed males but a recent follow-up study indicates that DES exposure did not impair fertility or sexual function in adult men. This is being studied in a collaborative investigation by the National Cancer Institute.

Infertility: Time to pregnancy and secondary sex ratio in men exposed prenatally to diethylstilbestrol. Wise L, Titus-Ernstoff L, Palmer JR, Hatch EE, Perez KM, Strohsnitter W, Kaufman R, Anderson D, Hoover RN, Troisi R. Am J Epidemiol 2007;166:765-74.

There have been conflicting research results through the years as to whether or not DES sons have higher infertility rates than unexposed males. Data was collected from participants in the National Cancer Institute’s DES Follow-up Study and results show that DES exposure does not adversely affect fertility rates for exposed males. The study found that DES-exposed males were able to father children at similar rates to those for unexposed males. There was a very slight difference in the sex ratio of the children born, with DES-exposed men fathering more girls than boys, but this difference was very small.