TopicsHealth & WellbeingResearch digest: misguided ‘influencer’ contraceptive tips

Research digest: misguided ‘influencer’ contraceptive tips

Taking contraceptive advice from social media influencers could lead to unplanned pregnancies in young people, research suggests.

Experts searched YouTube for videos in which influencers with at least 20,000 followers talked about their experiences of contraception. Between December 2019 and December 2021, 50 videos posted by influencers with up to 2.2 million followers were identified and analysed.

The videos were examined to determine the influencers’ attitudes to hormonal and non-hormonal birth control.

It was revealed that most of the influencers talked about stopping hormonal birth control, with 92% saying they were using it or had used it and 74% saying they had discontinued or planned to discontinue it. Around 40% of the influencers said they were using, or had used, non-hormonal birth control, with fertility trackers being the most popular. The lead study author said this was ‘concerning’ as these may not be as effective at preventing pregnancy as hormonal birth control.

The authors conclude that while social media can be a valuable source of information, young people should treat influencers’ advice about contraception with caution.

Health Communication

Image credit | Shutterstock


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