Dr. Jerilynn C. Prior is a Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism (the study of hormones and glands) at the University of British Columbia and is the Scientific Director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, (CeMCOR).
Having a special interest in the effects of hormones on women’s health, Dr. Prior studies women’s menstrual cycles, perimenopause and the causes for and treatment of osteoporosis. She has researched the use of the ovarian hormone progesterone for treatment of menstrual flow problems, hot flushes and low bone density. She is internationally known for her work showing that estrogen levels, besides being unpredictable, are significantly higher than normal in the perimenopause, the three to 10 years of changes before menopause. Her research has also shown an increase bone formation using progesterone.
Dr. Prior is widely sought as a speaker for professional and lay audiences and has written several books about perimenopause, menopause and women's health. As well, the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research website (www.cemcor.ubc.ca) provides pratical and accessible information for health care professionals and lay women alike.
Regarding OHT (Ovarian Hormone Therapy), Dr. Prior has never advocated the wide use of hormones as an ongoing “replacement” for menopause. She does not think menopause is a medical condition that should be “fixed”, but is instead a normal stage of life. According to Dr. Prior, there are only three main reasons to recommend OHT:
- if a woman is experiencing early menopause (<45 with hot flushes and for sure < 40)
- hot flushes are interfering with sleep and
- for prevention of osteoporosis. For hot flushes progesterone is equally effective as estrogen.
Dr. Prior also says that OHT should only be taken longer than five years if menopause came early. She has never advocated OHT for prevention of heart disease.