Let me start by saying that the opinions expressed here are mine. I’m not a medical professional.
An article came to my attention recently that’s been on my mind lots. It’s really a petition, not an article, and it’s written by a gentleman in the UK. He’s petitioning the FDA to acknowledge that hormone therapy during pregnancy can lead to intersex genital development or transgender babies.
You can read the entire petition here but since it’s rather long, I’ll try to summarize it for you.
Between 1940 and 1980 (1971 in the US) doctors around the world commonly prescribed Diethylstilbestrol (DES) to pregnant women at high risk of miscarriage. DES is a synthetic estrogen and the doses were huge .. some claimed them to have been the equivalent of a hundred birth control pills.
DES was sometimes prescribed in the first trimester but more often in the 2nd and 3rd.
I’m unable to verify this but the belief is that massive doses of “estrogen” in the 1st trimester – the time when physical genital development occurs – can lead to abnormalities; abnormalities we refer to as intersex .. often vagina/penis or ovary/testicle combinations in the same person.
I think it’s quite likely that the whole transgender phenomenon of recent times is largely being driven by people who were exposed to DES or other female hormone derivatives before birth. ~ petition creator Hugh Easton
Massive doses of DES in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy, when brain development occurs, can be responsible for gender dysphoria (the mind of one gender and the body of the other) as well as non gender related problems such as depression, ADHD and autism.
If this is all true, it would explain a lot to many of us and might finally answer the question so many of us ask … why?
I can immediately make an observation that could discredit this way of thinking. How do we explain transgenderism and the intersex condition before DES was used? Historians tell us that transgenderism and “hermaphrodites”, as they were known back then, have been around for centuries. And what about female-to-male transgenderism?
I suppose that if this were to be proven conclusively, an avalanche of lawsuits would follow and neither the pharmaceutical industry nor the medical community would like to see that. And within the transgender world, there would likely be as much anger as there would be peace.
Maybe the DES treatment was overkill but at that time in history, even if the transgender risks were understood, the alternative would have been a risky pregnancy and a likely miscarriage.
So maybe being trans and alive isn’t such a bad deal.
Maybe it’s time to have a conversation with your mom, if you’re still able. But wait until after Mother’s Day.
Note: I’ve created a survey here to try to gather some understanding from those who know about treatment their mother’s might have had while carrying them. Please take moment to complete the survey and share it with the trans people in your life, whether there was a DES connection in their life or not. In fact, no DES connection is equally important in helping us understand.
It’s a non-scientific survey, or course, but it just might give us some food for thought. And if doing a short survey is not your thing, you can check the live results here.