• DES;
  • diethylstilbestrol;
  • breast cancer;
  • estrogens;
  • clear cell adenocarcinoma

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was etiologically linked to clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina in 1971. This article reviews on-going research and emerging information relevant to DES-related health risks, thereby enabling women's health care providers to maintain an evidence-based practice for their DES-exposed patients. To accomplish these goals, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has initiated a national education campaign. This article describes the reasons for this new initiative, the target audiences, the DES historical framework (including major studies and findings), and populations that are affected. Clinical steps for the identification and management of the DES-exposed individual and resultant implications for midwifery and women's health practices are reviewed.