Distilbène® - Definition

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Distilbène® is the name of a product whose molecule is diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic hormone derived from estrogen. It was prescribed in France from the 1940s until 1977 to pregnant women to prevent premature births and miscarriages. This treatment for pregnant women was stopped because diethylstilbestrol causes genital malformations in girls born to mothers who took Distilbène® as well as increased the risk of vaginal cancer. As adults, these girls have also had trouble having children. Boys born to these mothers seem less affected, but also experience genital and urinary problems.