Intrauterine diethylstilbestrol exposure and increased risk of endometriosis in adulthood

Early-life factors and endometriosis risk

This 2015 study results support the hypothesis that disruption of development during fetal and infant periods may increase the risk of endometriosis in adulthood. Endometriosis Awareness Month image by ALDE Communication.

2015 Study Abstract

To study early-life factors in relation to endometriosis risk in adulthood.

Population-based, case-control study. The Women’s Risk of Endometriosis study was conducted among female enrollees aged 18-49 years of a large, integrated healthcare system in western Washington State.

Cases (n = 310) were women diagnosed for the first time with endometriosis between the years 1996 and 2001, and controls (n = 727) were women without a diagnosis of endometriosis randomly selected from the healthcare system population.

Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between intrauterine diethylstibestrol (DES) exposure, maternal smoking, mother’s age at delivery, firstborn status, birth weight, fetal number, prematurity, and regular soy formula feeding during infancy and endometriosis were estimated using unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for frequency matching and confounding variables. Information on early-life factors was ascertained retrospectively by in-person interview, with information on maternal DES use and regular soy formula feeding directly gathered from the participant’s mother or other family member.

We observed that women who were regularly fed soy formula as infants had more than twice the risk of endometriosis compared with unexposed women (aOR 2.4, 95% CI 1.2-4.9). Our data also suggested increased endometriosis risk with prematurity (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 0.9-3.1) and maternal use of DES (OR 2.0, 95% CI 0.8-4.9, adjusting only for frequency matching variables), although these confidence intervals included the null.

Our results support the hypothesis that disruption of development during fetal and infant periods may increase the risk of endometriosis in adulthood.

Sources and more information
  • Early-life factors and endometriosis risk, Upson K, Sathyanarayana S, Scholes D, Holt VL., Fertil Steril. 2015 Jul 23. pii: S0015-0282(15)00469-0. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.06.040, NCBI PMID: 26211883, 2015.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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