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Busting PCOS Myths with Dr. Lara Briden – The Fed and Fearless Podcast Episode 38

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Irregular periods are a common occurrence in women around the world. If you’ve been given a PCOS or Hypothalamic Amenorrhea diagnosis, or think you might have one of those conditions, there are similarities and differences you need to know. I’m joined by Dr. Lara Briden to bust all those PCOS myths that are holding you back from lasting hormonal health.



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About Dr. Lara Briden

Dr. Lara Briden is a naturopathic doctor and the world-famous period revolutionary—she’s leading the change to better periods for all women.

Informed by a strong science background and more than twenty years with patients, Dr. Lara is a passionate communicator about women’s health and alternatives to hormonal birth control.  Her book Period Repair Manual is a manifesto of natural treatment for better hormones and better periods and provides practical solutions using nutrition, supplements, and natural hormones.  Now in its second edition, the book has been an underground sensation and has changed the lives of tens of thousands of women. Dr. Lara has helped thousands of women find relief for period problems such as PCOS, PMS, endometriosis, and perimenopause.

A phrase that Dr. Lara has coined is “women are not small men.” She starts this conversation by explaining what she means by this and how understanding this can help further our perception and knowledge of female health.

We discuss Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom (PCOS) and Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA) and the key differences between them. While both have irregular or missing menstrual cycles as a key symptom, they are very different conditions. This is why you should rule out whether you actually have HA before you start down the lengthy process of a PCOS diagnosis.

A common way to diagnose PCOS is by ultrasound. While there’s nothing inherently wrong about an ultrasound, this is actually not an effective way to diagnose PCOS. An ultrasound can alert your doctor to cysts present in your ovaries, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have PCOS, despite the name of this syndrome.

Dr. Lara explains her preferred lab tests for a correct diagnosis. She recommends speaking with your doctor and request getting tested at two points during your menstrual cycle for the most accurate diagnosis. There are also at-home tests you can order and supplements that can help to regulate your cycle.

Dr. Lara talks about what the different states of PCOS are and how the symptoms and causes of each differ. By far the most common state is through insulin resistance but there are other ways your body can develop this disorder.

Finally, we talk about how you can treat certain symptoms of PCOS or HA without having an official diagnosis. Whether by diet, nutrition, and exercise, supplements, or other ways, there might be something you can do to reclaim your menstrual cycle.

Did you have any years of menstrual cycling before you went on the pill? Let me know in the comments on the episode page!


Got a question you’d love to hear me answer on the show? Leave me a voice message here!



  • Why Dr. Lara Briden says that “women are not small men”
  • The key differences between PCOS and Hypothalamic Amenorrhea
  • Why you should rule HA out before a PCOS diagnosis
  • The problems with an ultrasound for PCOS diagnosis
  • Relevant labs for a PCOS diagnosis
  • Why you should get tested twice during your menstrual cycle
  • The different states of PCOS and how to know you’re dealing with them
  • How to treat certain symptoms without knowing your exact PCOS diagnosis



“A lot of experts are calling for the ultrasound for Polycystic Ovary finding to be dumped, really, because it’s just not helpful.” (26:30)

“You can always reverse out of PCOS. It’s reversible. That’s the symptom picture. Maybe not the genetic tendency, but the symptom picture is.” (48:23)

“A lot of times the best approach to PCOS is still going to improve insulin sensitivity, it’s going to reduce inflammation, it’s going to help you detox from any birth control hormones.” (1:00:43)



Buy the Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden MD!

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