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Women are getting off birth control amid misinformation explosion /health/2024/03/21/stopping-birth-control-misinformation/

Search for “birth control” on TikTok or Instagram and a cascade of misleading videos vilifying hormonal contraception appear: Young women blaming their weight gain on the pill. Right-wing commentators claiming that some birth control can lead to infertility. Testimonials complaining of depression and anxiety.

Instead, many social media influencers recommend “natural” alternatives, such as timing sex to menstrual cycles — a less effective birth-control method that doctors warn could result in unwanted pregnancies in a country where abortion is now banned or restricted in nearly half the states.

Physicians say they’re seeing an explosion of birth-control misinformation online targeting a vulnerable demographic: people in their teens and early 20s who are more likely to believe what they see on their phones because of algorithms that feed them a stream of videos reinforcing messages often divorced from scientific evidence.