When a woman considers her health, she doesn't automatically think about her menstrual cycle. Yet a woman's menstrual cycle can tell a great deal about her health, well being, and what stage of reproduction she in. Understanding one's menstrual cycle helps during puberty, the reproductive years, and perimenopause.
As I experienced cycle changes in my forties, I looked around and found the work by Jerilynn Prior. Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC (former ABIM, ABEM) is a Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. She has spent her career studying menstrual cycles and the effects of the cycle’s changing estrogen and progesterone hormone levels on women’s health. She is the founder (2002) and Scientific Director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR). She is coauthor of The Estrogen Errors and author of Estrogen's Storm Season. CeMCOR acknowledges -- and defines -- “very early perimenopause,” symptoms that occur when cycles are regular but hormones begin to shift.
As part of my midlife ongoing series, I wanted to ask Dr. Prior some questions. So in this podcast interview, we talk about the menstrual cycle and health starting at puberty through menopause.