DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Popular Tik Tok videos about a common form of birth control often portray painful experiences and mistrust in healthcare.
That’s according to new research from Duke Health about intrauterine devices, also known as IUDs.
“I’m a millennial on Tik Tok and as I was scrolling through my own ‘For You page’, I would see these videos about negative experiences about IUDs,” Dr. Jenny Wu said, a resident OBGYN physician with Duke University. “I’m seeing a lot of patients in clinic, and I felt like a lot of my patients were choosing not to get an IUD. When you ask them a little bit more about that, they said it was related to what they saw online, what they saw on Tik Tok.”
An IUD is a small plastic t-shaped device that’s inserted into the uterus.
It’s a topic people are talking about.
The hashtag #IUD has 1.3 billion views on Tik Tok.
Dr. Wu, alongside other Duke Health researchers, decided to look into the topic further.
Researchers took the top 100 most viewed Tik Tok videos with the hashtag IUD.
Findings show most of the videos about personal patient experiences with getting an IUD placed or removed were negative. Of the videos analyzed, 37.8 percent had a negative tone, 19.4 percent had a positive tone, 27.6 percent mentioned a distrust of healthcare professionals and 24.4 percent contained moderately or highly inaccurate scientific claims.
“So, the majority of them were negatively associated mostly with pain and side effects related to the IUD,” Wu said. “There was a significant quarter that talked about the desire for anesthesia and then a lot of these videos really highlighted a distrust that they felt with their healthcare professional.”
Dr. Wu said this is an important study for healthcare professionals to better understand where patients are coming from and what they’re worried about.
“I don’t want getting an IUD to be a traumatic experience for women because it’s important for them to keep seeing us to get their routine pap smears to get STI testing,” Wu said.
Wu encourages patients to talk with their doctor about what an IUD entails and ways to manage pain.
The study received funding support from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It is given study number K12HD103083.