The guidelines were released by the United States Preventive Services Task Force and recommend that women do not need annual Pap smears or screening. In fact, between the ages of 21 to 29, women can be screened every three years if the Pap smear is conducted along with an HPV test. For women between the ages of 30 and 65, the test can be done every five years. But these guidelines are not recommended for women who were exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol.
That is because women exposed to diethylstilbestrol are considered high risk of cervical cancer, and early detection of cervical cancer is vital to survival. These women were exposed to the DES while in utero, when their mothers took the medication to prevent miscarriages. DES was pulled from the market when it became clear that not only did it not work but it was, in fact, linked to health risks. Such health risks include cancers of the reproductive tract and breast cancer.
READ MORE DIETHYLSTILBESTROL (DES) LEGAL NEWS
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (10/6/11) examined the long-term effects of DES on women exposed in utero. Among reproductive effects, researchers found increased risks of infertility, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, loss of pregnancy in second trimester, ectopic pregnancy, preeclampsia and stillbirth.
Researchers concluded, "In utero exposure of women to DES is associated with a high lifetime risk of a broad spectrum of adverse health outcomes." How severe that impact is on the DES granddaughters remains to be seen.