An Interview with Holly Grigg-Spall


Madeline interviews Holly Grigg-Spall, the author of the bestselling book Sweetening the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control.



In this interview, you’ll get the up-to-the-minute truth on the ranging effects of hormonal birth control and how properly educating yourself about your female body (and your menstrual cycle) is the best thing you can do before you decide how to address any of your health symptoms.



1:11 How the pill [actually] works
2:30 Withdrawal Bleeds: you don’t get your period when you’re on the pill
3:58 How the pill impacts more systems than just our reproductive system
5:04 The negative mental side effects of the pill
6:20 How Holly would like doctors to educate their patients so that women can make an informed decision about hormonal birth control
8:03 The benefit of personal body literacy to make choices about treatment
9:23 Fear-based reproductive education is hurting us
10:53 How Victorian-era science still prevails today & the male body as the ideal
13:52 Why women are medicated daily (when we’re not sick)
16:05 Diverting the conversation from the side effects to ability to access
17:15 Misinformation about the pill that causes expectations (and frustrations) around fertility
17:35 Teenage use of hormonal birth control and possible consequences
19:37 Why it’s important (and beneficial) to have a menstrual cycle
20:36 The importance of ovulation for overall health (including breast cancer prevention)
21:30 Understand the root cause of your menstrual issues for long term health benefits
22:00 The benefit of understanding where you are in your cycle
23:35 Loving your female body inside and out
25:00 Holly’s experience of the first half of her cycle
26:11 The second half of Holly’s cycle
27:15 Holly’s experience of her period
29:00 Give yourself permission to be inconsistent
30:20 Advice for those who want to stop taking hormonal birth control
31:10 How long should you wait to see how you feel without hormonal birth control
31:42 How to learn more about the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)
33:27 The benefits of tracking your cycle for addressing symptoms
35:30 the Daysy fertility tracker, a simple alternative to FAM

Show Notes


Holly’s Book Recommendations
Doing Harm- Maya Dusenbery
Taking Charge of Your Fertility- Toni Weschler
Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen’s Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body- Toni Weschler
The Garden of Fertility -Katie Singer
Sweetening The Pill -Holly Grigg-Spall

Find Holly on Twitter @ Holly Grigg-Spall

And check out her website here

Online Resources
Our signature program, Eating For Your Cycle
Holly’s Unsweetening The Pill Facebook Group

Daysy Fertility Tracker (use this link to get $20 off your order)


Holly GS

Guest Bio

Holly Grigg-Spall is a women’s wellness warrior. After taking the pill for 10 years and experiencing a host of negative side effects ranging from chronic UTI’s and headaches to anxiety and low self esteem, this journalist decided to personally investigate how and why the pill was having these effects on her.

After doing her research and making the choice to come off the pill, she started a blog, Who Am I When I’m Not On The Pill?, to document and share the changes she went through after stopping hormonal birth control.

This woman went on to make her research into the physical and psychological effects of hormonal birth control known in her 2013 book ‘Sweetening the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control’ She is consulting producer on a documentary inspired by her book, which is currently in production and due for release in 2019.

Currently, she speaks and leads workshops on going off hormonal birth control. You can find her latest work or find her on Facebook at Sweetening the Pill.


how does the pill work

Attention: women who want natural relief from period pain