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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > DES Exposure in Utero: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System

DES Exposure in Utero

Alternate Names : Diethylstilbestrol Exposure in the Womb

DES Exposure in Utero | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

A cervix or vagina abnormally shaped by DES cannot be corrected by surgery. If the vagina has a septum wall, the septum can be removed easily in an outpatient procedure. If the woman has an incompetent cervix during pregnancy, a cervical cerclage may be used to suture the cervix closed.

A woman with cancer of the cervix or vagina may need radical hysterectomy to remove the uterus, ovaries, and cervix, or a vaginectomy to remove the vagina. Radiation therapy may be performed to treat the cancer.

Surgery to correct undescended testicles may be done in men, as well as hypospadias repair.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

By itself, in utero exposure to DES does not cause side effects in the offspring later in life. But if the DES causes cervical, vaginal, or testicular cancer, treatments for the cancer may have side effects. Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy all have various side effects. Surgery can cause bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Chemotherapy may cause stomach upset, hair loss, and decreased resistance to infection.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

If a DES-exposed woman becomes pregnant, her pregnancy will be considered high risk and she will be closely monitored. Surgery may be needed for more serious recurrent symptoms, infertility, or cancer. Recovery from surgery may be a few days to several weeks depending on the type of surgery done.

How is the condition monitored?

Men and women who were exposed in utero to DES should have yearly examinations to watch for serious complications such as cancer. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.


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DES Exposure in Utero: Prevention & Expectations

 

Author: Eva Martin, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/02/01



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