DES Daughter Finds Relief with Natural Progesterone

Hello Catherine

I am so grateful to have found your website.

I have been researching and reading for years, but have never found anything as informative as you website.

I could relate to your personal story. I am a DES daughter (mother took synthetic estrogen while pregnant) and I was born having a period.

By the time I was 14, I was on birth control pills to regulate non-stop bleeding along with a prescription pain pill and a diuretic.

Two difficult pregnancies with monthly periods, one which landed me in ICU on the critical list.

At 26, I underwent a five and a half hour surgery to remove a gangrenous tube and repair an ovary, and was told I had endometriosis. Then came several more surgeries for endometriosis, one of which put two clips on my remaining tube. I was 33. Then the panic attacks started. Xanax and psychotherapy didn’t help.

Then at 40 another endo surgery and the ovary which couldn’t be repaired anymore was removed.

I found a naturopath who put me on progesterone and I couldn’t believe it – no more migraines, panic attack, or endometriosis. I was thrilled.

An early menopause at 48 hit from the removal of the ovary and I was told I didn’t need the progesterone anymore. What a mistake. I was put on Zoloft for two years, which did nothing put make me gain a ton of weight – 40 pounds.

All the reading: John Lee, Katherine Dalton, etc. and I searched for a doctor to put me back on progesterone.

In 2013 the product I was using, a sublingual progesterone drop, was taken off the market and I was told I didn’t need progesterone anymore as I was just turning 60 and that I should come off it and see how I did.

A couple months after coming off of progesterone, my husband was killed in a horrible “accident”. He had spent two days in a coma. Then the next two years were a nightmare going through criminal and civil court. And the panic attacks and migraines started again.

I went to my general practitioner for progesterone. She sent me to the Gyn who said they only do progesterone for hot flashes. I then went to the compounding pharmacy to get a name of someone I could work with using hormones. They sent me to a nurse practitioner who would not use hormones for me as I was a DES daughter. Her answer was to put me back on an anti-depressant – the very one which had caused me to gain 40 pounds. And by now I had gained another 10 from all the stress related to my husband’s death. Even the functional medicine doctor I see for Lyme told me – no progesterone, I would only get a “honeymoon” effect and then feel worse.

So my research lead me to your website.

I am determined to learn all I can to help myself. No more listening to doctors that aren’t really listening to me, and do not even do any testing.

I am tired of being told it is my adrenals and thyroid I need to work on when they do so much better when I am on progesterone. I am tired of being told I need anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications when the progesterone works so much better. I have a cupboard full of herbs, vitamins, homeopathies, and amino acids, non of which work as well as progesterone. I have been told I am addicted to progesterone because of the bad withdrawal I go through when coming off of it.

I am still working on my own two daughters. The youngest at 39 has chosen to use birth control pills, anti-anxiety medication, and sleeping pills. The other at 41 has just decided to see if natural progesterone cream can help her with her hormonal issues.

When people are ready, they will search, and listen.

I have already found the material on your website and in your menopause book useful. It has given me the confidence once again to listen to myself and my body instead of all the professionals, well meaning family members and friends, that tell me I shouldn’t be using natural progesterone cream. It was the encouragement I needed.

It has occurred to me there must be others who have gone through this frustrating route also. I hope my story can help others in their search for answers.

Catherine, thank you so much for your kind words. I am so looking forward to reading all the e-guides, and weekly coaching videos that comes with my membership.

With much gratitude


Hand-Me-Down Poisons

In 1938, DES (diethylstilbestrol) was the first synthetic estrogen to be created.

DES was prescribed to millions of pregnant women, primarily from 1938 – 1971, but certainly not limited to those years.

In some cases DES prescriptions were written into the 1980s in the U.S., as well as other countries, in the mistaken belief the drug prevented miscarriage and ensured a healthy baby. But it didn’t work and instead DES harmed the mothers who were prescribed it, the children born of those pregnancies and now possibly their grandchildren and beyond.

Never patented, DES was cheap and easy to produce, so hundreds of drug companies made it in the U.S. and around the world. DES was marketed under numerous brand names.

DES was prescribed if a woman had a previous miscarriage, diabetes, or a problem pregnancy with bleeding, threatened miscarriage or premature labor.

The most painful aspect of the DES tragedy is that the drug DID NOT even prevent miscarriages.

The DES experience toppled the notion that birth defects have to be immediate and visible to be important.

Until DES, most scientists thought a drug was safe unless it caused immediate and obvious malformations. They found it hard to believe that something could have a serious long-term impact without causing any outwardly visible birth defects.

DES was doing profound but invisible damage to those exposed in the womb.

By 1952, at least four separate studies had reported that women treated with DES for threatened miscarriage did no better than those treated with alternatives such as bed rest or sedatives. Despite the studies showing DES to be ineffective, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took no action to restrict its use during pregnancy.

Between the time that DES was first manufactured in 1938 and the discovery of related health problems in 1971, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States an estimated 5-10 million pregnant women and their children (daughters and sons) were exposed to the drug.

In 1971, the FDA issued a warning to physicians advising them not to prescribe DES to pregnant women. The warning was based on a discovery the same year that exposure to DES before birth (in the womb) increased the risk of clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCA) of the vagina (Herbst, 1971) and cervix (Noller, 1972). Since the time that DES was linked to CCA, researchers have been monitoring the health problems of women prescribed DES during pregnancy and their children exposed to DES before birth.

DES was also given to cattle as a ‘growth promoter’.

As was the case with thalidomide, the timing of the DES exposure appears more important than the dose. Women whose mothers took DES after the twentieth week of pregnancy did not suffer from the reproductive tract deformities, while those exposed before the tenth week of pregnancy had a greater chance of developing vaginal or cervical cancer.

Researchers have found evidence that prenatal and neonatal exposure to DES or other estrogens (administered or found in our environment) can sensitize the developing fetus to estrogens and perhaps make it more vulnerable later in life to certain cancers, such as those in the breast, uterus, and prostate, that have been linked to elevated estrogen exposure.

In utero exposure of women to DES is associated with a high lifetime risk of a broad spectrum of adverse health outcomes. (N Engl J Med 2011; 365:1304-1314 October 6, 2011)

Identified adverse health outcomes for women exposed to DES before birth include:

  • Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma (CCA) of the Vagina and Cervix
  • Breast Cancer
  • Structural Changes of the Reproductive Tract
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Preterm Labor
  • Preeclampsia
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Paraovarian Cysts
  • Menopause
  • Autoimmune Disease – No DES Link Except For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research is continuing with new adverse health impacts being identified.

We should look upon the effects of DES on the offspring of mothers given the drug as a model for the kinds of effect xenoestrogens may be having today.

DES is the only estrogenic substance so far known to trigger the body’s estrogen receptors activity even more efficiently than the body’s natural estrogens.

When excessive quantities of estrogen, regardless of source, are present in a young woman’s body they will burn out her ovaries and undermine fertility. It is this phenomenon which many ecoscientists believe to be largely responsible for the rapidly decreasing fertility in western women.

Each year evidence mounts further that women in industrialized countries are suffering from an overexposure to estrogen mimics.

The DES experience is a true medical tragedy brought on by less than adequate drug testing, heavy promotion by pharmaceutical companies bent on making a profit, and lax government regulation.

While DES is no longer prescribed for human use, those who were exposed to the drug, women like Dianne, are left to deal with the health and emotional consequences it caused. And thanks to Dianne’s willingness to share her story, we learn that bioidentical (natural) progesterone is alleviating symptoms of migraines, panic attack, and endometriosis, while providing a degree of protection against estrogen-driven cancers.


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In love & appreciation,

Catherine P Rollins, Founder & CEO
Catherine P. Rollins
Founder & CEO

Ethically Supporting Women’s Choice of BHRT Since 2001


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