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Dr. Pfeiffer
Dr. Pfeiffer, Doctor
Category: OB GYN
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Experience:  Ob/Gyn Doctor
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When I was conceived, I was a twin. At three months gestation,

Resolved Question:

When I was conceived, I was a twin. At three months gestation, my Mom lost my twin and her doctor gave her "8 birth control pills a day" in order to not miscarry me. Question is, in 1967, would there have been a birth control pill therapy for such a purpose or would diethylstilbestrol have been the drug of choice? I'm now 45 and have gone through menopause 5 years earlier than my mother but other than than my health issues have been pretty minor.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Pfeiffer replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

hello

Dr. Pfeiffer :

hard to know for sure...but, in all liklihood it probably was.

Customer:

It probably was DES?

Dr. Pfeiffer :

DES was very commonly used until 1971 as believed to be a cure for preterm birth.

Customer:

Would the dosage have been as high as 8 pills a day?

Dr. Pfeiffer :

that I would have to look up...

Dr. Pfeiffer :

I certainly can if you'd like

Customer:

I think it is probably my only clue aside from my age.

Customer:

Mom doesn't know what she was given and the hospital said all records were destroyed.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

I think it probably was too....based on the time frame.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

not sure on the dose though

Customer:

She had a previous miscarriage prior to my brother, so I can see with the loss of my twin them taking those kind of measures. Dr. also induced labor and Mom was in labor with me for 4 1/2 days! But I'm here :)

Customer:

No books stating what the regular dosage was?

Dr. Pfeiffer :

I've never looked into the actual dose...rather to understand the dates it was used and the complication it may cause in females who were exposed when their mother was treated with it.

Customer:

If it weren't DES - 8 birth control pills a day sounds like a recipe for similar effects to me. Am I off base?

Dr. Pfeiffer :

well...birth control pills were very strong back then.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

about 2-3 times stronger than what we use today.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

so that's a pretty big does even with today's pills.

Customer:

So if she is taking 8 of them, I'm swimming in estrogen

Dr. Pfeiffer :

to a degree...yes

Customer:

Okay. I guess I have to behave as if I am a DES daughter because there is really no way for me to know at this stage if that is what she was given.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

looking at the DES doses...yes, 8 is possible.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

there was an escallating protocol where the dose went up throughout pregnancy

Customer:

Then, I'll assume yes and let my OB GYN know. Have my yearly with her tomorrow.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

In fact, it looks like they used to have 5 mg pills...and she may have been asked to take up to 20 or so if she took it all the way to 25 weeks.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

they then came out with 25mg pills so there would have been fewer as time went on..

Dr. Pfeiffer :

so, probably (8) 5mg pills and eventually went to 25 mg pills..

Dr. Pfeiffer :

that would be my best guess...

Dr. Pfeiffer :

can't prove it..but the timing and number sounds right for it to be DES.

Customer:

Well thank you for your time Dr. Pfeiffer.

Customer:

And for looking that up.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

sure..anytime.

Customer:

Goodnight.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

take care and Happy New Year to you.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

Good night.

Customer:

To you as well!

Dr. Pfeiffer, Doctor
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 5986
Experience: Ob/Gyn Doctor
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