Magazine article Herizons

Estrogen's Storm Season: Stories of Perimenopause

Magazine article Herizons

Estrogen's Storm Season: Stories of Perimenopause

Article excerpt

ESTROGEN'S STORM SEASON: STORIES OF PERIMENOPAUSE

DR. JERILYNN PRIOR

Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR)

REVIEW BY SUSAN PRENTICE

This book is for "the woman who no longer recognizes herself" as she is buffeted by the hormonal storm that precedes menopause. According to Dr. Jerilynn Prior, such chaos may be experienced by one in five women, and can last up to a decade or more. The book sets out to re-frame perimenopause, a condition sexist medicine misunderstands, misdiagnoses and mistreats. Prior has been a key contributor to this work: she is author or co-author of 25 of the 138 scientific references cited, and is founder and scientific director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR) at UBC.

The book is narrated by a fictional alter ego, "Dr. Kaily Madrona," a specialist in women's reproductive health. The book is written as a series of connected stories about eight women experiencing "midlife miseries." The composite characters span a range of ages and life conditions, motherhood statuses, sexualities and ethnic identities.

One of Prior's key objectives is to challenge the conventional medical view that dropping estrogen levels are the cause of women's symptoms. She believes that the corresponding treatment of estrogen replacement actually exacerbates symptoms. Prior also underscores that perimenopause and menopause are distinct and different phases of female reproductive development. The book provides useful information on a range of symptoms that includes hot flashes, constipation, sleep problems, disordered eating and lowered libido. …

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