Adolescent exposure to high-dose estrogen and subsequent effects on lactation

Reprod Toxicol. 2007 Nov-Dec;24(3-4):397-402. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2007.04.001. Epub 2007 Apr 19.


Treatment with high-dose estrogens has been used to reduce the adult height of tall girls for many years. Short-term side effects on the breast have been reported but there have been no studies to investigate whether there are long-term effects on lactation. This retrospective cohort study of 371 treated and 409 untreated women asked about breastfeeding history. After adjusting for maternal age at first live-birth, treated women (4.4%) were no more likely than untreated women (4.1%) to not commence breastfeeding (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.50-2.52). After adjusting for age, there was no significant difference in the average duration of breastfeeding between treated (median 41.1 weeks) and untreated women (median 43.3 weeks) (p=0.77) for all live-births. Treated women were not significantly more likely to report physiological reasons for stopping breastfeeding than untreated women. Women treated with high-dose estrogens during adolescence appeared to be no different to untreated women in their ability to lactate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent*
  • Adult
  • Body Height / drug effects
  • Breast Feeding
  • Diethylstilbestrol / adverse effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Estrogens / adverse effects*
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Lactation / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Estrogens
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Diethylstilbestrol