Hormones affect everyone and everything: from our skin, to stress, to sports. But for most of us, they're still a mystery. Even the way we talk about hormones makes no sense. ("She's hormonal.") So let's clear some things up. Each week, Rhea Ramjohn is asking scientists, doctors, and experts to break it all down for us. And this season? We're talking about birth control. Season 2 launches Oct 13 with eight weekly episodes.
Who you gonna call? Mythbusters!
35:55This season on Hormonal we’ve learned a lot about birth control. From the origin of the pill, to how side effects can be beneficial, to the history and future of Reproductive Justice. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more to learn, especially when it comes to those pesky myths that just never seem to completely disappear. This week on the Hormonal podcast, we are assembling a super squad of science-backed Mythbusters. They’re ready to tackle questions from real users like you. On the mythbusting squad we’re welcoming back Dr. Lynae Brayboy, Clue’s Chief Medical Officer–and also joining us is Amanda Shea, Clue’s Head of Science, and Dr. Hajnalka Hejja, Clue’s Science Lead for Product. "It feels like it's constantly being reinforced that we should have an exactly 28-day cycle that comes at the exact day we expect, month after month after month. And then it's completely not true." For more information on today’s episode visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus. Episode Links HelloClue.com: The birth control implant: myths and misconceptions HelloClue.com: Antibiotics and Birth Control: Myths and Facts HelloClue.com: How to use Clue if you’re on the hormonal birth control pill HelloClue.com: The top 3 PMS myths HelloClue.com: 36 superstitions about periods from around the world HelloClue.com: Tampons: questions & misconceptions HelloClue.com: Can you swim on your period? HelloClue.com: The myth of moon phases and menstruation
Risky business: Birth Control during COVID-19
34:12The COVID-19 pandemic has upended healthcare systems around the world, especially reproductive healthcare. People who relied on face-to-face visits with their doctor or timely appointments are now facing cancellations and rescheduling. And those who had employer-based care in countries that have limited alternatives, like the United States, are now asking themselves, “What now?” We wanted to know more about how COVID-19, as well as the pandemic and recession associated with it, are influencing people’s birth control options and choices. On this episode of Hormonal, we’re joined by Gillian Sealy. She's the interim CEO of Power to Decide–a nonprofit in the U.S. focused on preventing unplanned pregnancy and helping young people find a birth control option that works for them. She joins us today from Tampa Bay, Florida. For more information on today’s episode visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus. “[In our recent survey,] birth control users [ages] 18 to 34 said that birth control has allowed them or their partner to worry about one less thing during the COVID pandemic.” Episode Links #ThxBirthControl 2020: Survey Says HelloClue.com: How coronavirus impacts pregnancy, breastfeeding, and postpartum HelloClue.com: Does Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect your periods or cycle health? HelloClue.com: Is it safe to get pregnant during coronavirus? HelloClue.com: Will coronavirus impact access to contraception?
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Bringing sexy back
35:20Nothing quite brings your fertility front and center like a pregnancy. Whether a pregnancy ends in a baby or not, it causes big changes to your body. Hormonal changes, like an increase in estrogen and prolactin, can cause or are directly related to physical changes, such as breast and milk duct growth. What do people who’ve just had a pregnancy, need to know about their birth control options afterwards? To discuss this, we’re joined by two midwives: Imogen Raye Minton is a home birth midwife and co-founder of the Queer Feminist Midwifery Collective here in Berlin; and Yasmeen Bruckner is a certified nurse, midwife and women's nurse, health practitioner at the University of Washington Northwest Campus Midwives Clinic. For more information on today’s episode visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus. "There is this like this thing, this idea, that everything should be back to normal by six weeks. And I really try to encourage people to think about how long it took them to grow a baby in their body and the incredible feat it is to birth a baby no matter how you birth your baby." Further Reading HelloClue: How to use the Clue app to help you become pregnant HelloClue: Postpartum: Sex, fertility, and contraception HelloClue: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum HelloClue: PCOS and pregnancy CDC: Dental Dam Use
Happy Birthday, birth control!
41:19The birth control pill, which many of us just call "the pill," officially turns 60 years old this year. Instead of just breaking out the cake and candles, we’re telling you the story of the pill. Where did this remarkable invention even come from? And what doors did it open up for our parents and grandparents? Additionally, when considering the history of remarkable inventions, how do we address the harm that was done along the way? “College jobs, families, sex. So much came from the pill. And it came because people suffered for it. That that women, black and brown women in particular, were treated like second class citizens. And, you know, you just, that’s a sad part of the world that we live in.” Jonathan Eig is the author of Birth of the Pill and joins us from Chicago, Illinois to delve into this fascinating, amazing, and shadowy story. For more information on today’s episode visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus. Episode Links HelloClue: How we think about birth control at Clue HelloClue: Birth control pills 101 HelloClue: How to use Clue if you’re on the hormonal birth control pill Planned Parenthood: Birth Control Pills
Reproductive choice & reproductive justice
35:17Inequality is all around us and manifests in tricky ways. When it comes to healthcare in particular, for many of us, reproductive care is a large part of how we interact with the healthcare system. So how do systems of oppression such as racism, ableism, sexism, and so many more, make it harder for some of us to access reproductive care? To talk about this, we’re going to explore the theory of reproductive justice. And who better to explain it than Dr. Loretta Ross. She’s a professor at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, co-founder of the Sister-Song Collective in Atlanta, Georgia, and one of the co-originators of the concept of reproductive justice. For more information on today’s episode visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus. “You have to put access in the context of people’s lives; just because you can buy a condom at any gas station doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to persuade your partner under patriarchy to use it.” Further Reading: SisterSong Collective HelloClue Webinar: Reproductive Health Disparities Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda HelloClue: What it’s like going to the doctor when you’re trans HelloClue: What to expect at the OB/GYN when you’re trans HelloClue: Will coronavirus impact access to contraception? The Center for Reproductive Rights
The many sides of side effects
32:17Most people take birth control because they want to avoid getting pregnant. As many of us find out after starting the pill, the shot or getting a device inserted, avoiding pregnancy is not all that happens! There are other shifts in the body that take place when you try something new. How to view these side effects is in the eye of the beholder. Some birth control types stop your periods entirely, which might be a relief for some white-jeans wearers, but for others no period could feel less reassuring. So what side effects are most common when it comes to birth control? And what should we know about when to consult a doctor? To chat about this, we’re joined by Dr. Gabriela Aguilar. She’s a fellow in Complex Family Planning and a clinical instructor at Yale University in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences. For more information on today’s episode visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus. "The side effect of not having periods is highly desired by some people. It’s not for others." Episode Links HelloClue.com: Hormonal contraception and your body HelloClue.com: Birth control pills 101 HelloClue.com: How every method of hormonal contraception affects your period HelloClue.com: Here are all of your hormonal birth control options
The ABC: Abortion & Birth Control
34:39You probably know and love someone who’s had an abortion, or maybe you’ve had one yourself. Despite the fact that one in four people capable of getting pregnant will have a termination in their lifetime, finding accurate information about abortions is tricky. While terminating a pregnancy is one of the safest medical procedures out there, the political and social stigma remains. Today we’ll talk about the facts and most commonly asked questions from Clue users around abortion, and discuss how access is changing in the age of COVID-19. For this episode, we spoke to Dr. Stephanie Frazin from San Francisco, California. She's a physician, researcher and family planning fellow and abortion expert at the University of California, San Francisco. For more information on today’s episode visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus. Reading list Helloclue.com: What to expect before, during, and after an abortion WHO: Abortion Guttmacher Institute: Unintended pregnancy and abortion worldwide. Reproductive health access project Women on Web
Hot or not? Birth control & sex drive
25:07A big reason why a lot of people start taking hormonal birth control is simple: they’re having sex, and they don't want to risk a pregnancy. But, this isn't true for everyone. Preventing a potential pregnancy is not the only thing that happens when you take a pill, get a device inserted, or get a shot. As your body adjusts to a new method, lots of things can happen, and that can affect how you feel: Sexier or less sexy, more adventurous or less, hotter or maybe less attractive. That’s what we’re exploring in today's episode: how hormonal birth control affects your self image and sexual desire, and how to talk about it with your doctor. And to do this, we're turning to Clue’s brand new Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lynae Brayboy. For more information on today’s episode visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus. Background Reading Birth control and sex drive Birth control and weight gain How different types of hormonal birth control affect your mental health Do you get your period on the pill? Pills, periods, and withdrawal bleeding
Coming Soon: Hormonal Season 2
2:40We’ve been hard at work on the latest season of Hormonal, and this time, we’re looking at Birth Control. We’re excited to share this trailer for our new episodes, where we’ll be looking at the science, the side effects, the societal implications, and much more, around birth control. Hosted by Rhea Ramjohn, the weekly podcast will feature voices from around the birth control universe. Listeners can look forward to practical tips, deep conversations, and enlightening revelations. New episodes of Hormonal drop every Tuesday starting in October. Listen to the trailer now, and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. For more information on visit helloclue.com/hormonal. And, to find out how to support the work here at Clue, go to Clue.Plus.
A Sneak Peek at Season 2
5:24As we work hard on Season 2 of the Hormonal podcast, we’re dropping into your feed with a special request, and a small behind the scenes interview with your host, Rhea Ramjohn. While you’re waiting, check out past episodes of the podcast at helloclue.com/hormonal. And, to find out how to support our work at Clue, go to Clue.Plus.