Are You on the Pill? (Antibiotics)
Are You on the Pill? (Antibiotics)
Are You on the Pill? (Antibiotics)

Are You on the Pill? (Antibiotics)

What's worse than UTIs? The negative side effects of antibiotics that aren't treating the root cause of the infection. Hear how one woman changed her approach to her health after learning about the role our hormones play, and the perspective of a sex health nurse.

Last Updated: June 22, 2022
Contributor: Meghann Shantz

Explored in this episode

  • The negative effects of taking antibiotics, including antibiotic resistance
  • The link between recurring UTIs and perimenopause
  • Learning to respect our gut when it comes to our overall health
  • How probiotics may support recovery from some of the negative side effects of antibiotics
  • The importance of learning how to read our body’s signals and advocate for our own wellness

Voices in the conversation


Kirsten Sharp

Radio producer, multimedia storyteller and athlete

We need to go back into integrative health where we realize what’s going on with our body and we’re fighting for ourselves.

A professional storyteller, radio broadcaster and athlete, Kirsten Sharp is a prominent figure in the Vancouver media scene, and also plays an active role with Spinal Cord Injury BC (formerly the BC Paraplegic Association). She acted as host to SCI BC TV: a mini-documentary series that “motivates viewers to realize their potential, remove perceived barriers and open their minds to new experiences and information.”

After her own spinal cord injury at the age of 14, Kirsten learned the importance of a supportive peer group and of passing her own experience on to others. For many years, Kirsten has suffered from UTIs; in the last few years they became so frequent that her overall health was suffering and she worried about becoming resistant to bacteria. Then, she learned about the role of perimenopause from Maureen McGrath.


Maureen McGrath

Registered nurse, radio personality, author and TEDx speaker

The better you feel about yourself, the better you’re going to perform.

Maureen McGrath is a registered nurse with a a clinical health practice in Vancouver, BC, supporting people with their overall health. She has also taken her expertise in sexual health in a multimedia direction, including her website,, and a radio show called “The Sunday Night Sex Show”, where listener’s questions are answered with frankness, compassion and humour. Her TEDx talk, The No Sex Marriage: Masturbation, Cheating, Loneliness & Shame, investigates why 20% of all marriages are considered sexless, and why lust can disappear in marriage relationships.

Maureen is an advocate for better sexual health because she believes having a good sex life makes a difference to our overall health. She wrote a book called Sex and Health, in which she educates the reader on how the body functions from a sexual perspective and not only what may go wrong, but what one can do about it. She is a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.




Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs occur when unwelcome bacteria travel up the urethra to the bladder. Although they can affect men and women, women’s shorter urethras are considered a main reason women suffer many more UTIs than men. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to a much more serious kidney infection. Although overgrowth of bacteria is to blame, Kirsten learned that the onset of perimenopause was also a contributing factor in why she was experiencing so many infections.


Antimicrobial resistance

A recent study published in the PMC—the biomedical archive maintained by the Library of the National Institute of Health in America—found that hospitalizations for UTIs are becoming more frequent due to antimicrobial resistance, or superbugs that do not respond well to oral antibiotics. In her TED 2015 talk, Maryn McKenna paints a sobering picture of a world with drug-resistant bacteria, unless we make changes to how we approach health and the treatment of disease right now.

Meghann Shantz, The Host of Well Now
Meghann Shantz
The Host of Well Now

Managing Editor at Saje Natural Wellness, Meghann Shantz brings her personal story of healing and a love of storytelling to Well Now – a podcast born out of a desire to help us all discover the hidden side of health and how to achieve wellness. She draws from her experiences navigating western and alternative medicine to heal her anxiety and physical injury to connect with guests about their own stories of overcoming physical and emotional challenges.

Naturally curious and on a quest for meaning, Meghann holds space for the raw expression and authentic stories of her podcast guests, believing that our world would be better if we chose to honour other people’s journeys and processes without judgement – and believing in the power of telling your story.