#439: The Business of Birth Control and How it Affects Women with Abby Epstein

If You Want to Learn More About Birth Control, You Should:

  1. Watch Abby’s new film, The Business of Birth Control
  2. Surround yourself with knowledge and medical professionals who understand what your body needs
  3. Approach perimenopause with a fascination and curiosity of how to achieve long-term health

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Episode Summary

When it comes to birth control and IUDs, there is an unspoken conversation that women desperately need to hear. If you have had crazy side effects and doctors keep telling you you are crazy, this episode is proof that you aren’t. You are not crazy, and you deserve to know all the facts so that you can make an informed choice about what is best for your body, circumstances, and health.

The Business of Birth Control with Abby Epstein

Abby Epstein made her film directing debut at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival with the documentary V-Day: Until the Violence Stops. In 2007, she teamed up with Ricki Lake for their widely acclaimed documentary, The Business of Being Born. The film’s success led to their follow-up series, More Business of Being Born, featuring Cindy Crawford, Alanis Morissette, Gisele Bündchen, and Christy Turlington, and their book, Your Best Birth. Under their company, BOBB Films, Ms. Epstein and Ms. Lake produced the documentaries Breastmilk and The Mama Sherpas and, most recently, The Business of Birth Control.

Birth Control is a Band-Aid Solution

For years, birth control pills have been used as a bad band-aid solution for women, especially those dealing with symptoms from perimenopause. Many doctors just aren’t trained in how the woman’s body works, so they use medication such as the birth control pill without realizing the serious side effects it can have on a woman’s reproductive health. 

As Abby puts it, women’s bodies are such miracles; they can be incredibly intimidating on a certain level. This is why it is up to you to understand the side effects of the birth control pill and how it will impact your body now and in the future.

You Deserve Better

While it is a complicated conversation to have, intelligent and informed discussions around birth control and what happens to our bodies are necessary if we want to change the narrative around women’s health as we age. You deserve better, and the more educated you can be about your body and what you put into it, the better chance you are going to have at maintaining your overall health and longevity.

Don’t just sit back and accept whatever the doctor tells you. By educating and empowering yourself with knowledge, you can leave behind a legacy of wisdom that comes from having your body work for you.

Are you ready to know and own your body? Share your thought on this episode with me in the comments below!


“Whatever you are putting into your body, it needs to be researched, and you need to advocate for yourself.” (16:41)

“This is a medication that very, very young girls are placed on… without their consent and without good reason.” (27:51)

“It is really difficult when you are being offered this sort of one-stop solution, which is not really a solution, but it is taking care of everything in the short term.” (33:55)

“To me, perimenopause truly is the most amazing time and years.” (46:54)

“It is so empowering to feel this connection to your body and to understand what is going on.” (47:24)

In This Episode

  • Why birth control may not be the ‘empowering option’ you have been led to believe it is (14:56)
  • Understanding the role of misogyny when it comes to female healthcare options (21:27)
  • How birth control could be impacting your long-term health and reproductive fertility (27:20)
  • The importance of understanding the role your hormones play in your body and so much more (32:54)
  • Tips for extending your reproductive longevity for long-lasting health throughout menopause (41:04)

Resources Mentioned

The Business of Birth Control Documentary

Related Episodes

Essentially You Episode #424: Move Over Birth Control Pills, There’s a New Type of Contraception in Town That’s Completley Natural with Elina Berglund

Essentially You Episode #389: Are Birth Control Pills the Best Remedy for Perimenopause Symptoms?

Essentially You Episode #60: What to Know about Perimenopause and Birth Control Pills with Dr. Jolene Brighten

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