Episode 15: Dr. Jolene Brighten – On Orgasms, Seed Cycling & Informed Consent

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Episode 015 Dr. Jolene Brighten – On Orgasms, Seed Cycling & Informed Consent

In Part Two of her interview, Dr. Stephanie continues her discussion with best-selling author and leading authority on women’s health, Dr. Jolene Brighten. In this iteration, Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Jolene break down some of the impacts that hormonal birth control can have on a woman’s sexual health, including poor lubrication, vaginal wall atrophy, and pelvic floor muscle degradation. Dr. Jolene shares her top ten list of things to know about the added benefits of orgasms. Finally, they discuss post-birth control syndrome, fertility, and alternative forms of natural birth control, including Fertility Awareness Method.


01:31 – Dr. Stephanie introduces the topics she and Dr. Jolene Brighten discuss in Part Two of her interview

06:00 – A 2016 study out of Denmark of the association of hormonal contraception with depression

11:57 – Mood disorders and the tryptophan pathway

15:52 – The incidence rate of depression and Alzheimer’s in women

17:40 – Elevated cortisol levels

20:04 – Progesterone and head injuries

21:55 – How hormonal birth control affects sexual health and libido

26:37 – How testosterone affects inflammation

27:13 – Yeast infections and vaginal wall atrophy

30:18 – Orgasms

33:31 – The importance of communication during sex

34:42 – Dr. Jolene’s Top 10-12 Things to Know about Orgasms

42:37 – Hormonal birth control’s impact on gut and gastrointestinal health

46:54 – A recent Harvard study on birth control and Crohn’s Disease

50:16 – The value of supplementation while on the pill

59:31 – Seed cycling

1:04:35 – Evidence-based medicine

1:06:55 – Defining Post-Birth Control Syndrome

1:08:48 – Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), defined

1:16:56 – Where listeners can follow Dr. Jolene

1:18:08 – Where listeners can follow Dr. Stephanie and subscribe to her newsletter


“We have to have these inconvenient conversations so that we can keep our daughters, our sisters, our future mothers safe.” (11:28)

“We can do better when we know. But when we don’t know, then we’re flying blind.” (21:47)

“If you’re a woman having sex with a male, that sexual intercourse is inviting someone else’s body into your body.” (32:18)

“Now, the other great thing about orgasms, they can give you easier periods, more regular cycles, and relief from menstrual cramps.” (40:44)

“We’ve now come to understand that what grows in your mouth can impact your fertility and also impact pregnancy outcomes.” (46:38)

“Anybody who lives with women or is a woman knows, women will power through just about anything until they can’t and then they’ll go to the doctor.” (1:08:29)

“It’s really important, I think, for all women to understand that if you’re not in a monogamous relationship, the pill, IUDs, patch, they’re not going to protect you against sexually transmitted infections. And that’s something that often gets glazed over.” (1:14:34)


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Dr. Stephanie on LinkedIn

Dr. Jolene’s Website

Dr. Jolene’s LinkedIn

Dr. Jolene’s Instagram – @drjolenebrighten

Dr. Jolene’s Twitter – @drbrighten

Dr. Jolene’s Facebook

Dr. Jolene’s YouTube Channel

Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales (DASS)

DASS Questionnaire

Link to Seed Cycling Article

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. Stephanie Estima
  • Dr. Jolene Brighten

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