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Episode Info: My guest on today's show, Dr. Jolene Brighten, is a functional medicine naturopathic doctor and the founder of , a women's medicine clinic that specializes in women's hormones. She is recognized as a leading expert in post-birth control syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is the best-selling author, speaker, and regular contributor to several online publications including . She is a medical advisor for one of the first data-driven apps to offer women personalized birth control recommendations. You might be familiar with her also as the author of Out of the 100 million women (almost 11 million in the United States alone) who are on the pill, roughly 60 percent take it for non-contraceptive reasons like painful periods, endometriosis, PCOS, and acne. While the birth control pill is widely prescribed as a quick-fix solution to a variety of women’s health conditions, taking it can also result in other more serious and dangerous health consequences. Did you know that women on the pill are more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant? That they are at significantly increased risk for autoimmune disease, heart attack, thyroid and adrenal disorders, and even breast and cervical cancer? That the pill can even cause vaginal dryness, unexplained hair loss, flagging libido, extreme fatigue, and chronic infection. As if women didn’t have enough to worry about, that little pill we’re taking to manage our symptoms is only making things worse. Dr. Brighten specializes in treating women’s hormone imbalances caused by the pill and shares her proven 30-day program designed to reverse the myriad of symptoms women experience every day—whether you choose to stay on the pill or not. Featuring simple diet and lifestyle interventions, this podcast will be a crucial step to reversing the risky side effects of the pill, finally finding hormonal health, and getting your badass self back. During our discussion, you'll discover: -An overview of how the pill works...9:38 Dr. Brighten is a former user of the pill; didn't understand the ramifications until studying in natural medicine It works at your brain level How do the ovaries know when to ovulate? The pill distorts FSH/LH levels, thus affecting ovulation, menstrual cycles, etc.  Causes mood alterations and even difficulty getting pregnant once off the pill What normal FSH/LH levels should be sans the pill Day 1 of the period begins the "flow" of maturing eggs FSH and estrogen rise Once ovulation occurs, the corpus luteum secretes progesterone Every form of birth control produces progestin, not progesterone Weight gain is common  Water retention due to lack of progesterone Moodiness is common Key point: A woman stops ovulating because the pill is affecting her body at the brain level -Dr. Brighten's thoughts on supplementing w/ progesterone...16:03 There's a time and place for it, but first ask "why" you need it Can help w/ anxiety, sleep q...
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