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Women with menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms were seen as the first major group of potential consumers of oestrogen drugs. At first, oestrogen isolated from the urine of pregnant women and mares were given as injections but in the late 1930s, the first synthetic oestrogen, diethylstilbestrol (DES), was introduced. DES was available as powder or pills and could be dissolved in water which allowed women to take oestrogen drugs for themselves. Advertisements such as this which appeared in Nursing Mirror, invited nurses to apply for a free product sample although the drug could be freely purchased from chemists.

Source: Nursing Mirror, 4 July 1942.