The Estrogen Errors
Why Progesterone Is Better for Women's Health
by Susan Baxter, PhD, and Jerilynn C. Prior, MD
May 2009, 255pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35398-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35399-4
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Is menopause a medical condition that should be “fixed” or a normal stage of life? There is a wide difference of opinion on the issue, especially between physicians in the United States and those in other nations. Opinion is equally divided on the best course of action when treatment is sought.

In a book of importance to all women, expert authors provide an authoritative rebuttal to the widely held belief that estrogen therapy is the best treatment for perimenopausal women.

In this revealing work, a medical writer and an internationally known physician team up to explain the controversy over prescribing estrogen for perimenopausal women in the United States and to detail why progesterone is actually a far more effective, and far less risk-ridden, approach. Citing longstanding and emerging research, patient vignettes, and personal experience, endocrinologist Jerilynn Prior and writer Susan Baxter explain how false beliefs about estrogen became entrenched in U.S. medicine and culture—and how and why business and politics have played a role in this erroneous thinking.

Like most women in Europe now, Prior’s patients find progesterone the key to dealing with a lifecycle transition that, contrary to Western medicine, these authors do not see as a disease. Challenging medical orthodoxy, The Estrogen Errors: Why Progesterone Is Better for Women’s Health presents arguments and evidence that women and their doctors, male and female, will find compelling and useful.

Susan Baxter, PhD, is a medical writer and social scientist with more than 20 years experience writing on controversial medical topics. She teaches part time at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Her articles have appeared in publications including Family Practice, Medical Post, HealthWatch, Lifeline, and Easy Living.

Jerilynn Prior, MD, is professor of medicine, Division of Endocrinology, at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. She is founder and scientific director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research and has authored research published in journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Prior is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. As a clinician and researcher, she has treated thousands of women. Prior has been visiting lecturer across Canada and the United States, at schools including the New York Academy of Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, and Albert Einstein Medical School. In 1985, Prior won a Nobel Peace Prize for her work with Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.


"The Women’s Health Initiative study in the 1990s upended the conventional wisdom concerning hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. Medical writer Baxter (Simon Fraser U.) and Prior (medicine, U. of British Columbia) trace the history of the estrogen-deficiency disease paradigm of menopause. Instead of the myth that estrogen is a female hormone that needs replenishing, these self-identified feminists advocate consideration of the complexities of what is ‘normal’ and the use of progesterone among options to ease menopausal symptoms. Appendices include further information about perimenopause, 'the forgotten transition,' and menopause management."—SciTech Book News, September 1, 2009

"In this engaging book, Baxter (Simon Fraser Univ.) and Prior (Univ. of British Columbia) combine detailed explanations of women's reproductive endocrinology and physiology with deconstructions of social, medical, and cultural narratives about women's hormones. The result is an insightful survey of current and historical dogma, scientific research, and medical practices in women's health. . . . Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."—Choice, December 1, 2009

"The book is well written, clearly laid out, and understandable to an educated reader. It points out what we now know are inconsistencies and outright errors in the previously widely accepted prescription of estrogen to normal women during their transition to menopause....I think the book offers a significant amount of information for both physicians “treating” and women approaching menopause, from both an estrogen and progesterone perspective. I’m really glad I read it....I appreciated the clarification of terminology, the effort to demedicalize a natural process, and the confidence to look outside the box at commonly accepted doctrine surrounding what has been happening to women since the beginning of human life." —British Columbia Medical Journal, June 1, 2010

"The Estrogen Errors is an informative text written for providers and women that questions the hypothesis that estrogen is the deficient hormone during the perimenopause, and that this deficiency is responsible for the varied symptoms experienced by many woman during this transitional phase. Dr. Prior is an endocrinologist who clearly has studied and researched the topic thoroughly. "—, July 12, 2010

"Estrogen Errors is, quite simply, the truth! Dr. Jerilynn Prior has done women a huge service by uncovering the real truth about estrogen and the hidden secrets of progesterone! A must read for anyone concerned about women's health."—Jerilynn C Prior MD FRCPC
Professor of Endocrinology
University of British Columbia

" 'Estrogen Errors tells the story of efforts to set the record straight about how healthy ovulatory menstruation - with its ebb and flow of estrogen and progesterone - protects our hearts, breasts and bones, and details with sound scientific evidence the implications of this knowledge for women’s health. It is also a call to action for women to become body literate. We owe it to ourselves and our daughters to understand and appreciate our bodies if we want to make conscious, informed decisions about our health throughout our reproductive lives - from menarche through to menopause and beyond."—Laura Wershler
Executive Director, Sexual Health Access Alberta

"In this provocative book, Jerilynn Prior and Susan Baxter raise many key questions that women's health researchers and clinicians have failed to ask or investigate. They are especially effective in deconstructing prevailing myths about 'too little estrogen' during the peri-menopause."—Judy Norsigian
Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves

"Jerilynn Prior can always be trusted to go beyond the surface to what is really happening in women's bodies. She is a true champion in women's health. This book will help you finally understand your body and hormones."—Susan Love MD
President of the Dr Susan Love Research Foundation and author of Dr Susan Love's Breast Book
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