Women need to understand the Effects of Birth Control on Their Bodies and Hormones


Most American women use some type of contraception in their lifetimes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 13% of women aged 15 to 49 are currently on the pill, while about 10% use an intrauterine device or contraceptive implant.

Those birth control options are often touted as safe and effective methods for preventing pregnancy or addressing hormonal imbalances.

But Dr. Jolene Brighten suggests that isn’t the whole story. Dr. Brighten, a naturopathic physician and women’s health specialist by training, explores the effects hormones can have on women’s health.

That’s why she wrote the book “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,” to delve deep into the issues that can arise with the use of the pill.

“I wanted to provide women with a user’s manual for their bodies and give them the information I wish I’d been given early in life,” Dr. Brighten said.

If women are diagnosed with a hormonal issue, they’re often offered the pill as the first — or sometimes only — solution. But Dr. Brighten seeks to educate women about the effects hormone imbalances can have on their well-being. The book also offers advice to remedy these imbalances through lifestyle changes, supplements, and nutritional modifications.

Some women experience side effects when they start birth control, including hair loss, lagging libido, extreme fatigue, and chronic infection. And those issues aren’t always taken seriously by their doctors. But women may not realize that they don’t have to live with those problems. Dr. Brighten discusses in her book how to locate the root cause of hormonal issues, attain a pain-free, manageable period free of cramps, acne, stress or PMS, and how to support liver detox, among other helpful topics.

“The book also provides them with tools to have a more productive conversation with their doctors and monitor and support their health if they do choose hormonal birth control,” Dr. Brighten said.

In addition to books, her website, www.drbrighten.com, has articles and resources to help women identify their symptoms and have more informed interactions with their doctors.

Birth Control May Not Be Right for Every Woman

Dr. Brighten said she doesn’t think women always have the right tools to understand their own bodies. Instead, she believes that women are often recommended birth control without clearly understanding its risks.

Birth control can lead to a variety of issues in women, including thyroid dysfunction, adrenal problems, loss of libido, menstrual irregularities, PMS, and anxiety.

Women don’t always link these problems to birth control or hormones, however. Until they read Dr. Brighten’s writings or consult with her, many believe they have to live with these symptoms.

“We serve women all over the world who are struggling and feeling dismissed by doctors about their concerns,” Dr. Brighten said.

But Dr. Brighten said she doesn’t think that birth control is inherently bad. Instead, she said she believes that women should have all the information about it when making choices about what to put in their bodies.

Nutritional Advice and Supplement Guidance Promote Hormonal Health

In addition to reaching a global audience with her writing, Dr. Brighten is also a clinician who works with clients.

In her clinical practice, she focuses on teaching women to make better choices that support their wellness. Often, that focus turns to diet and supplement changes to promote hormonal balance.

Dr. Brighten’s expertise on the connection between women’s hormones and nutrition informs those recommendations. She also shares that nutritional healing advice on her website.

“As both my family and myself leverage supplements, I wanted to have a line of the highest quality products I could trust to give to my family and take myself. One of our core values is to think about our customers like our family,” Dr. Brighten said.


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