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How do I know if I took DES during pregnancy?

It has been estimated that 5 to 10 million people were exposed to DES during pregnancy. Many of these people are not aware that they were exposed. A woman who was pregnant between 1938 and 1971 and had problems or a history of problems during pregnancy may have been given DES or a similar drug. Women who think they used a hormone such as DES during pregnancy, or people who think that their mother used DES during pregnancy, can contact the attending physician or the hospital where the delivery took place to request a review of the medical records. If any pills were taken during pregnancy, obstetrical records should be checked to determine the name of the drug. Mothers and children have a right to this information.

However, finding medical records after a long period of time can be difficult. If the doctor has retired or died, another doctor may have taken over the practice as well as the records. The county medical society or health department may know where the records have been stored. Some pharmacies keep records for a long time and can be contacted regarding prescription dispensing information. Military medical records are kept for 25 years. In many cases, however, it may be impossible to determine whether DES was used.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.