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The Girlfriend Doctor w/ Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dec 8, 2019

Taking the hormonal birth control pill might be preventing unwanted pregnancy, but it could also be masking, or even causing, a whole host of chronic health conditions. Dr. Jolene Brighten, the author of Beyond the Pill, is here today, along with my daughter, Amanda, to talk about the effects of the pill on our bodies and what alternative birth control methods are available.

Jolene is an expert in women’s health, nutrition, contraception, and hormone imbalances. She works with women to reclaim their natural health, cycle, and rhythm. Having been on the birth control pill for 10 years when she was younger, she knows how it can devastate your body’s natural health, though she isn’t completely anti-pill. Jolene just wants to help you find the best healthcare for you.

Many doctors will put young women on the pill to help manage painful or long periods, amongst other things, but those symptoms could actually be caused by a chronic condition such as PCOS. Jolene explains why we shouldn’t try to just mask these symptoms but should endeavor to find the route cause of them. 

The effects of being on the birth control pill long-term can also last long into menopause! And did you know that your gut health can actually impact your period? If you have extremely painful periods, it could be due to food intolerance, like dairy, or poor gut health, like leaky gut or SIBO. Plus, there are so many links between the pill and cancer.

So what do you to prevent pregnancy when you don’t want to risk using the pill? There are so many other non-hormonal contraceptive methods out there. Jolene also talks about the benefits of the barrier method, both male and female condoms, and you might be surprised that they’re not just to prevent pregnancy! 

The most important thing to understand is that what works for you might not work for the other women in your family. Birth control is personal to you, so figure out what method is best for you, your circumstances, and your health.

Do you have painful periods? How comfortable are you with your current method of birth control? Are you entering menopause in the healthiest way possible for you?


In This Episode:

  • How birth control can impact so many other medical conditions
  • Why you should reconsider using the birth control pill to manage chronic diseases
  • How you can support your entrance to menopause in a more healthy way
  • Why our gut health can impact the pain of our period
  • What the relationship between the birth control pill and cancer is
  • What other methods of birth control you can use that aren’t the pill
  • Why what’s normal for you won’t necessarily be right for other women in your family
  • Why you should still use a barrier method of contraception 



“Women should have all the information they need to make the best decision for themselves about the birth control pill.” (3:59)

“Birth control was designed for a healthy, young female patient who didn’t want to have a baby - yet - it was never designed to be this indefinite thing that we’re just left on, never to ovulate, never to have a natural cycle. And it was never designed for the management of chronic disease.” (9:16)

“Once women start to understand what is going on in their natural cycle, they can see where there’s issues and where there never was issues.” (25:04)

“How can a woman ever have a boundary if she’s never been given permission by society to have a boundary? One way we can do that, that serves us as well, is by having our own boundaries and not apologize for taking what we need and leaving what we don’t.” (35:42)



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