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Episode 26: Why and How Birth Control Affects The Microbiome

Criticizing birth control is a tightrope walk. On one hand, birth control has been instrumental to women’s liberation, allowing them to control their fertility on their own terms. On the other hand, we’re now starting to learn that years (and sometimes decades) of hormonal birth control use can impact women’s health negatively.     

On this episode, Andrea talks with Dr. Jolene Brighten, a Functional Naturopathic Medical Doctor and nutritional biochemist with a focus in women’s endocrine health. She is recognized as a leading expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. She’s also the author of 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.   

Featured | Dr. Jolene Brighten, a Functional Naturopathic Medical Doctor and nutritional biochemist.

This is an eye-opening conversation about how something women have been told is harmless actually has far-reaching implications on the microbiome, overall health and future fertility. Along with discussing common issues, Dr. Brighten explains why birth control impacts our microbial communities and gives tips for what to do to minimize symptoms if you’re not ready to stop taking birth control.    Toward the end of the discussion, they switch gears to talk about the microbiome during pregnancy, specifically as it concerns pathogenic strains, such as GBS.   

To learn more about Dr. Brighten, visit her website at drbrighten.com or follow her on Instagram @drjolenebrighten



On this show, you’ll learn: 

  • The issues that birth control, like the pill, can cause in women (2:02)
  • Why would birth control have an impact on our microbial communities? (5:36)
  • Research on non-hormonal birth control and gut health (8:51)
  • Do symptoms resolve once birth control dosage has stopped? (12:38)
  • Ways to offset symptoms for those not ready to come off birth control (20:51)
  • The impact of birth control use on future fertility (31:29)
  • How to lessen the chances of GBS during birth (43:16)
  • Recommendations for women wanting to stop birth control (49:16)

Tune in on iTunes here:



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Older Post Episode 25: Your Cell Phone Could Be Altering Your Gut Microbes
Newer Post Episode 27: What Does Your Mouth Have To Do With Erectile Dysfunction?

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