In this episode, Karly and Ali chat with Holly Grigg-Spall about hormonal birth control. Holly is the author of “Sweetening the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control”. She is consulting producer on a documentary inspired by her book, directed by Abby Epstein and executive produced by Ricki Lake. Holly is also currently an ambassador for the Daysy fertility tracker and a marketing consultant for several women’s health-centric companies. She has a ton of knowledge about the pitfalls of hormonal birth control and shares some great stuff with the kweens! Here’s an overview of what’s covered in this episode:

  • Holly’s own experience with hormonal birth control, including all of the terrible side effects she experienced and how she finally got off of it
  • The lack of information and education about the pill that Holly was given by her health care providers before she went on the pill and how this lack of informed consent is a major issue for many women
  • Some of the major misconceptions about the pill
  • A quick overview of what taking the pill actually does to your hormones (SPOILER ALERT: it’s not great)
  • The differences between first, second, and third generation hormonal contraceptives and which one is best (if being on a hormonal contraceptive absolutely can’t be avoided)
  • An overview of the side effects of hormonal birth control and why we should think twice about using it
  • The importance of ovulation and menstruation and how we’ve somehow been led to believe that these things AREN’T necessary physiological processes for women to experience
  • The options for non-hormonal birth control
  • Where IUDs fall on the spectrum of hormonal birth control and whether they cause similar side effects as the birth control pill
  • Why Holly thinks that hormonal birth control is “addictive” and why so many women continue using it despite the negative side effects
  • Holly’s relationship with her cycle now

Click here to order a copy of Holly’s book and here to join the Birth Kweens Facebook group!

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The Birth Kweens get down to the nitty gritty of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and women’s health. For more from us, visit Follow us on Instagram @BirthKweens and email us at with your questions, suggestions and feedback.