Episode 14: Dr. Jolene Brighten – On Hormonal Birth Control, Symptom Management, & Women’s Vitality

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Episode 014 Dr. Jolene Brighten – On Hormonal Birth Control, Symptom Management, & Women’s Vitality

Best-selling author and leading authority on women’s health, Dr. Jolene Brighten joins the podcast to share her experience in the field of hormonal birth control. Dr. Jolene’s work has been featured in the New York Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, and ABC News, to name just a few. As a prominent expert in women’s medicine and post-birth control syndrome, Dr. Jolene understands both the positive and negative effects hormonal contraceptives can have on women. Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Jolene talk about brain health, the bias that exists against women in the medical field, and vitality as it related to female physiology. Dr. Jolene references chapters from her latest book, Beyond the Pill. Finally, Dr. Jolene stresses the need for doctors to listen intently to their female patients, as women are the most in-tune with their bodies.


01:02 – Introducing today’s guest, Dr. Jolene Brighten

06:57 – Dr. Jolene talks about the history of hormonal birth control

10:38 – Worldwide use of hormonal birth control

13:06 – Birth control and infertility issues

14:41 – The purpose of your menstrual cycle

17:57 – Symptom management

18:49 – The buffet approach to birth control

20:05 – Understanding that belief has no place in medicine or science

25:11 – The inherent medical bias against women

28:41 – How hormonal contraception affects mate selection

34:53 – Hormonal contraception’s influence on women’s behavior

37:40 – How to stay safe on birth control in the wake of dangerous side effects

41:00 – Reversing Metabolic Mayhem

44:01 – Physiological side effects of hormonal birth control

47:51 – Inflammation

49:47 – The complex nature of hormones

52:06 – Where listeners can follow Dr. Stephanie and subscribe to her newsletter


“Your doctor doesn’t need to have a research study to believe your story.” (07:55)

“What often happens is that you are put on birth control for symptom management and, as it turns out, those symptoms are really rooted in conditions that are associated with infertility.” (13:06)

“Hormonal birth control can rob us of what I call our superpowers. Throughout the menstrual cycle we have this ebb and flow of hormones that really gives us superpowers.” (16:42)

“For me, and really I think for many women, we don’t need other people’s beliefs when we’re trying to make an informed decision. We need the facts and we need the information, and we can frame those within our belief system.” (23:12)

“While hormonal birth control can rob you of your libido, when you come off of it, if you’ve selected your mate while you were on it and you come off of it, you may report more sexual dissatisfaction.” (32:47)

“If women have ever used hormonal birth control for six months or more in their lifetime, they have over thirty percent risk of developing diabetes post-menopausal.” (44:04)

“Women are dismissed and die at higher rates of heart attacks than men because we’re often told, ‘Oh you’re just stressed. You’re just anxious. It’s just in your head.’” (46:49)

“Women are tricky. But ya know what isn’t tricky about women? How well they know their body. So, what we have to do as doctors is listen to them because women are really smart and really in-tune with their body.” (47:40)


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Dr. Jolene’s Website

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Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales (DASS)

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Dr. Jolene’s Books:

Beyond the Pill: A 30-Day Program to Balance Your Hormones, Reclaim Your Body, and Reverse the Dangerous Side Effects of the Birth Control Pill


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  • Dr. Jolene Brighten


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