Hormone pregnancy test 'no link to harm'

From BBC - November 15, 2017

The use of a controversial hormonal pregnancy test from the 1950s to the 1970s did not damage unborn children, an independent inquiry has found.

The review by the Commission on Human Medicines said the scientific evidence did not support a "causal link".

The inquiry was set up by the UK government amid concerns the drug may have caused defects and miscarriages.

It was used in Britain between 1953 and 1975 - other countries stopped sooner.

However, the inquiry ruled women who used the test and subsequently had babies born with defects would be offered genetic testing to see if any cause could be identified.

An electronic system for reporting side-effects during pregnancy will also be introduced to help identify problems with medicines that may occur in the future.


It is estimated that over one million women used the drug to test for pregnancies.

It worked by triggering a period if a woman was not pregnant.

Before that pregnancy tests required complicated blood tests.

Campaigners claim it caused birth defects in their children, such as blindness, deafness, spina bifida and heart and limb defects as well as cleft palates.

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