From the time I was about 14 years old, I had annual appointments with a gynecologist to be tested for cancer. When my mom was pregnant with both my sister and me, she was given a medication called Diethylstilbestrol (DES). It was a medication that was given to pregnant women from about 1940-1971 to reduce the risk of miscarriage. Not only was this drug proven to be ineffectual for that purpose, but in 1971, a report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing a probably link between cancer in DES daughters, the girls who had been exposed to it in utero.
DES is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it messes up hormone function. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences states that many common environmental pollutants are also endocrine disruptors. Continue reading “Best-laid Plans”