Gillian Goddard

3 min Read Gillian Goddard

Gillian Goddard

I Had Side Effects on the Pill. Will the Same Happen With HRT?

Q&A on symptoms

Gillian Goddard

3 min Read

In my late teens and early 20s, I had some bad experiences with birth control side effects: insomnia, panic attacks, heavy bleeding, etc. I actually went on and off the pill several times before I realized that my symptoms and the pill were connected. I have not used hormonal birth control since then and have never had these issues again. As I turn 40 this year, I am concerned about approaching perimenopause and how HRT might affect me. Is there any data about previous experiences with the birth control pill and taking hormones during perimenopause?

—Harrowed about Hormones

Many women struggle with side effects like those you describe while taking birth control pills (BCPs). I am sympathetic to your concern — I had to stop taking birth control pills in my 20s because they were increasing my blood pressure. Women worry about this because BCPs and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have common ingredients: both typically contain estrogen and progesterone. However, I have not found any data on how likely those side effects are to recur with HRT. 

In the absence of data, how can we consider the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy when we have had side effects or adverse events with birth control pills? 

Person screaming in frustration with hands on side of head
Atul Choudhary / Pexels

Most BCPs are a combination of one type of estrogen — ethinyl estradiol — and a synthetic progestin. What makes one pill different from others is the dose of ethinyl estradiol and the type and dose of progestin. HRT for most women will include estrogen as estradiol or conjugated equine estrogens, and progesterone or a synthetic progestin.  

But there are several differences between BCPs and HRT. The biggest difference is dose. The dose of estradiol in even the lowest-dose BCPs is three to four times the dose of estrogen in HRT. The lower dose of estrogen in HRT may result in fewer side effects.

Additionally, while there are birth control patches, most women have taken birth control pills. Women often take estradiol for HRT through the skin as a patch or gel. Estradiol is metabolized differently if you take it by mouth versus through the skin. This may result in differences in side effects for some women.

The options for taking progesterone for HRT are also broader. You can take a pill, get it through the skin, or get it from a progestin-eluting IUD. You can take progesterone or you can take synthetic progestin. Different synthetic progestins have different effects in the body that are well understood. Knowing which BCP you took in the past and what side effects you experienced will help your doctor choose which form of progesterone might work well for you.   

All of this is to say, while there is little data on whether women will experience the same side effects with BCPs and HRT, there is reason to think we might not. If you are having perimenopausal symptoms, it would certainly be reasonable to try HRT and monitor for side effects. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Milestones. We celebrate them in pregnancy, in parenting, and they’re a fun thing to celebrate at work too. Just a couple years ago I couldn’t have foreseen what this community would grow into. Today, there are over 400,000 of you here—asking questions, making others feel seen wherever they may be in their journey, and sharing information that supports data > panic. 

It has been a busy summer for the team at ParentData. I’d love to take a moment here to celebrate the 400k milestone. As I’ve said before, it’s more important than ever to put good data in the hands of parents. 

Share this post with a friend who could use a little more data, and a little less parenting overwhelm. 

📷 Me and my oldest, collaborating on “Expecting Better”

Milestones. We celebrate them in pregnancy, in parenting, and they’re a fun thing to celebrate at work too. Just a couple years ago I couldn’t have foreseen what this community would grow into. Today, there are over 400,000 of you here—asking questions, making others feel seen wherever they may be in their journey, and sharing information that supports data > panic.

It has been a busy summer for the team at ParentData. I’d love to take a moment here to celebrate the 400k milestone. As I’ve said before, it’s more important than ever to put good data in the hands of parents.

Share this post with a friend who could use a little more data, and a little less parenting overwhelm.

📷 Me and my oldest, collaborating on “Expecting Better”
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#emilyoster #parentdata #riskmanagement #parentstruggles #parentingstruggles

I spend a lot of time talking people down after they read the latest panic headline. In most cases, these articles create an unnecessary amount of stress around pregnancy and parenting. This is my pro tip for understanding whether the risk presented is something you should really be worrying about.

Comment “link” for an article with other tools to help you navigate risk and uncertainty.

#emilyoster #parentdata #riskmanagement #parentstruggles #parentingstruggles
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Original thread source: Reddit @croc_docs

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Just keep wiping.

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🌶️ Among respondents, the most common s e x u a l frequency was 1 to 2 times per month, followed closely by 1 to 2 times per week
🌶️ 37% have found their sweet spot and are happy with the frequency of s e x they are having
🌶️ About 64% of respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with the quality of the s e x they are having

Do any of these findings surprise you? Let us know in the comments!

#hotflash #intimacy #midlifepleasure #parentdata #relationships

Dr. Gillian Goddard sums up what she learned from the Hot Flash S e x Survey! Here are some key data takeaways:

🌶️ Among respondents, the most common s e x u a l frequency was 1 to 2 times per month, followed closely by 1 to 2 times per week
🌶️ 37% have found their sweet spot and are happy with the frequency of s e x they are having
🌶️ About 64% of respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with the quality of the s e x they are having

Do any of these findings surprise you? Let us know in the comments!

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Here’s what we know from a data standpoint:
✈️ The risk of injury to a child on a plane without a carseat is very small (about 1 in 250,000)
✈️ A JAMA Pediatrics paper estimates about 0.4 child air crash deaths per year might be prevented in the U.S. with car seats
✈️ Cars are far more dangerous than airplanes! The same JAMA paper suggests that if 5% to 10% of families switched to driving, then we would expect more total deaths as a result of this policy.

If you want to buy a seat for your lap infant, or bring a car seat for an older child, by all means do so! But the additional protection based on the numbers is extremely small.

#parentdata #emilyoster #flyingwithkids #flyingwithbaby #carseats #carseatsafety
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Tag a Dad who this holiday may be tricky for. We’re sending you love. 💛
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Head to the newsletter for more and stay tuned for part two next week on naps! 🌙

#parentdata #emilyoster #childsleep #babysleep #parentingcommunity

SLEEP DATA 💤 We asked you all about your kids’ sleep—and got nearly 15,000 survey responses to better understand kids’ sleep patterns. Comment “Link” for an article that breaks down our findings!

This graph shows sleeping location by age. You’ll notice that for the first three months, most kids are in their own sleeping location in a parent’s room. Then, over the first year, this switches toward their own room. As kids age, sharing a room with a sibling becomes more common.

Head to the newsletter for more and stay tuned for part two next week on naps! 🌙

#parentdata #emilyoster #childsleep #babysleep #parentingcommunity
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Comment “Link” to subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster, joined by some excellent guests.

#parentdata #parentdatapodcast #parentingpodcast #parentingtips #emilyoster

Weekends are good for extra cups of ☕️ and listening to podcasts. I asked our team how they pod—most people said on walks or during chores. What about you?

Comment “Link” to subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster, joined by some excellent guests.

#parentdata #parentdatapodcast #parentingpodcast #parentingtips #emilyoster
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#emilyoster #secondbaby #parentingjokes #parentinghumor

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#emilyoster #secondbaby #parentingjokes #parentinghumor
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Bug season is upon us. Besides annoyance, this can bring up safety concerns, particularly with ticks. They are carriers of diseases, most notably Lyme disease. So what’s the best course of action?

Prevention is key! I suggest:
⭐ Regular tick checks
⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET 
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

Some parents worry about DEET, but repellants with up to 30% DEET are recommended by both the CDC and AAP. The data says you’re in the clear, so go for it. Enjoy your summer!

#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray

Bug season is upon us. Besides annoyance, this can bring up safety concerns, particularly with ticks. They are carriers of diseases, most notably Lyme disease. So what’s the best course of action?

Prevention is key! I suggest:
⭐ Regular tick checks
⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

Some parents worry about DEET, but repellants with up to 30% DEET are recommended by both the CDC and AAP. The data says you’re in the clear, so go for it. Enjoy your summer!

#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray
...