How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control

‘Millions of healthy women take a powerful medication every day from their mid-teens to menopause – the Pill – but few know how this drug works or the potential side effects. Contrary to cultural myth, the birth control pill impacts on every organ and function of the body, and yet most women do not even think of it as a drug. Depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage, panic attacks – just a few of the effects of the Pill on half of the over 80% of women who pop these tablets during their lifetimes.

Holly Grigg-Spall

Holly Grigg-Spall joins us to discuss her book Sweetening The Pill, Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control.

Holly talks us through;

  • How and why she started writing about the pill
  • The side effects she experience being on various different birth control pills
  • How the pill inhibits vitamin absorption, causes mood changes and mental health issues
  • The link between hormonal contraceptives and suicide risk
  • Having a sense of something strange or terrible going to happen was a common experience of the women she spoke to on the pill
  • Why our culture is so willing to continue to prescribe and take the pill
  • Common myths about the pill i.e. we still have periods on the pill, it regulates our cycle
  • How to pill can feel liberating if we are rebelling against conditioning around sex and being a woman

Holly recommends

If you’re on the pill and are thinking about or wanting to come off it, then come off it without consulting your Doctor because your Doctor will very likely tell you it’s not the pill and recommend you stay on longer or switch to another.

If you have an IUD or implant that needs a medical professional to remove it and you feel low and likely to doubt yourself once there, take a friend with you to support you and your decision.

Once you’ve come off the synthetic hormones, give yourself 3 to 6 months for the side effects to clear up. And during that time start reading up about your body, your cycle and your fertility. A good, uncomplicated book to start with is called Cycle Savvy. It’s actually for teenagers, but is a nice straightforward and easy to access start.

In the next podcast, Holly will be talking to us about Daysy, The Fertility Computer as a reliable and natural option for either preventing or planning pregnancy. 

– About Our Guest –

Holly Grigg-Spall 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 currently an ambassador for the Daysy fertility tracker and a marketing consultant for several women’s health-centric companies.


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Melanie Swan Podcast Host

Melanie Swan

Melanie Swan is an internationally renowned expert in the menstrual cycle and working with the consciousness of The Womb. 

She hosts The Sacred Womb Podcast, which has received over 100,000 downloads across 110 countries, and founded The Womb Medicine Woman Training®, which she has been running for the last 7 years.

She’s an experienced CRM® Trauma Therapist, hosts the newly released CRM® podcast ‘Trauma Healing Tribe’ and is currently writing her first book The Sacred Womb, which is, at its core, a handbook for the empowerment of womankind. Due for release early 2024.


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