- Posted February 20, 2012 by
DES, and the (other) half of it
This is a very powerful form of estrogen. As to how powerful, consider the following. In the early 1960's a drug company didn't clean their machines properly after making a batch of DES. The residual DES (at microgram levels) was enough to cause effects in people who took the tainted medicine. Pre school age girls started menstruation and adult men started growing breasts.
The suggested DES dosage for most treatments was in the .5 to 3 mg range. The recommended oral dosage chart for miscarriage abatement was much higher, starting at 5 mg/day in the early weeks, and ending at 125 mg/day near full term. Comparing this to the incidents mentioned above, if an average daily mid pregnancy dose were a 55 gallon drum, the amount of DES in the tainted medicine would be a small glass. Yet at these extremely low levels, the effects of DES were still felt.
The effects of DES on females are well known and well documented. The fact remains that about half of the babies born of mothers who took DES during pregnancy were male. With support groups springing up for and by daughters affected by the drug, Dr Scott Kerlin noticed a vacuum of support for the sons who were likewise affected. To be sure there were physical effects from DES exposure. One of these is hypospodiasis, this is where the urethra develops such that it ends short of the end of the penis. In the most extreme of cases the urethra opens to the outside world at the base of the penis. This is roughly where the urethra ends in natal females. Another malady that has been connected with DES exposure is cryptorchidism, in other words undescended testicles. If they don't descend just before birth, they usually drop into the scrotum within the first year of life. For a point of reference, mine required hormonal treatments to finally descend when I was 12 years old. There were other issues however that Dr. Kerlin looked at through his support group aimed at DES sons that were not overtly physical in nature and were unique only to the sons.
Nature starts life with female as the default design. During development, there are certain "switches" that are flipped to cause the developing child to grow along male lines. Because the brain (and the brain IS different between males and females- look at how we behave) is a complicated organ, the switch for the brain is flipped later in development than the body. What then happens is this. Though there may have been enough testosterone in the fetus to flip the switch for the body, when it's time for the brain switch to be flipped there is so much estrogen in the form of DES flooding the fetus that the switch remains in the "F" position. Thus we have a person who is born with a brain that is wired female, but captive within a male body. The doctor at first glance sees a penis and cries out, "It's a boy!" The doctor is unable to see the physical differences deep inside the brain however without expensive tests.
Dr. Kerlin's data when broken down shows that of the males with reported or suspected DES exposure, about 30% report as transsexual or transgendered. I find this to be statistically significant, especially considering that transsexuality occurs in much less than 1% of the general population. Many of the people these days who identify as being male to female transsexual are between 40-60 years old. They were all born during the time that DES was freely prescribed. One label for this phenomenon is "late onset transsexuality". Those three words cannot begin to describe the pain
by John Hausback