Posted on Apr 05, 2022, 1 p.m.
Dr. Jerilynn C. Prior is a tireless researcher of women’s hormonal functions and related health problems. She has identified and published information striking at the social myths about hormones that prevent good therapy. Ignorance, lack of good science and poor translation to clinical use abound.
Her article “Women’s Reproductive System as Balanced Estradiol and Progesterone Actions- A revolutionary, paradigm-shifting concept in women’s health” has recently been published at this link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S174067572030013X
She is disturbed by the concept that estradiol is the “women’s hormone” and the prevailing focus for treatment of estradiol only for women and relegating progesterone’s utility only for the uterus. Most women who have had their uterus surgically removed are only offered estradiol for hormone supplementation and can never experience relief from the progesterone deficiency symptoms.
Progesterone is a far more prevalent hormone. Progesterone is measured in units 1000 times that of estradiol. The habit of portraying the menstrual cycle with the actual hormone prevalence ignored fosters an ignorance to the importance of progesterone. Progesterone and estradiol behave in a ying-yang dance. The two hormones enhance the function of receptors for each other. They produce opposite effects. Estrogen is a stimulant. It promotes the growth of tissue. Progesterone helps cells mature and decreases proliferation. In bone remodeling, estradiol slows the rate of bone loss but it is progesterone that stimulates new bone growth. Without this constant breakdown and rebuilding, good-quality bone cannot happen.
At perimenopause, women can experience aberrations in heart rate which sends them nervously to the emergency rooms. Dr. Prior observes that estradiol levels can be at their highest during the woman’s life span coincident with progesterone becoming more and more deficient. Progesterone restores the heart’s electrical activity to normal. In the brain, estradiol increases excitation, progesterone is calmative.
One of the myths, she has identified is that if women regularly bleed each month, they produce adequate progesterone and that they have ovulated. She found that missed ovulation can be a regular event and the generous production of progesterone that should follow doesn’t happen. There are silent ovulatory dysfunctions that limit the available progesterone. Dr. Prior writes “Ovulatory disturbances include insufficient luteal phases (egg release but lower progesterone levels), short luteal phases (egg release with decreased duration of high progesterone production) or anovulation (no egg release and no increase in progesterone above follicular phase low levels)” Practitioners rarely identify these disturbances and often choose pharmaceuticals to treat the disturbed sleep, heightened anxiety, fluid retention, osteoporosis, cardiac issues, inflammation, and pain that follow when progesterone is deficient.
Author Bio: Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP, is an accomplished compounding pharmacist with decades of experience helping patients improve their quality of life through bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy and is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner. Her passion to optimize health and commitment to compounding is evident in her involvement with organizations including the International College of Integrated Medicine and the American College of Apothecaries, the American Pharmacists Association and the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding. She was also the founder and first chair for the Compounding Special Interest Group with the American Pharmacists Association. She serves as chair for the Integrated Medicine Consortium. She co-hosts a radio program “Take Charge of Your Health” in the greater New York area. She is on the Medical Advisory Board for the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR.ca). To contact Carol click here.
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