YouTube and the single-rod contraceptive implant: a content analysis

J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care. 2017 Jul;43(3):195-200. doi: 10.1136/jfprhc-2016-101593. Epub 2017 Jan 20.


Background: Since the internet has become an important source of contraceptive information with as the second most visited site, we analysed contraceptive implant YouTube videos for content and clinical accuracy.

Methods: Using the terms 'contraceptive implant', 'Nexplanon' and 'Implanon', the top 20 results on YouTube by relevance and view count were identified. After excluding duplicates, single-rod implant videos in English were included. Videos were classified as providing a professional or patient perspective. Views, duration and comments were noted. Videos were rated for reliability, global quality scale and whether they were positive or negative about the implant. Inter-rater agreement was measured.

Results: A total of 120 videos were retrieved; 52 were eligible for review. Less than 23% were professional videos; the majority reported patient experience (46% testimonials, 27% real-time procedure videos, 4% other). Patient videos had been posted a significantly longer duration of time than professional videos (364 vs 188 days, p=0.02), were less reliable (p≤0.0001) and were of lower global quality (p<0.0001). Some 61% of implant testimonial videos were rated as 'positive experiences' and inter-rater agreement was very good (κ=0.81). All testimonials mentioned side effects, commonly irregular bleeding and discomfort with insertion. A minority (26%) reported misinformation.

Conclusions: This study found that most of the information on YouTube pertaining to contraceptive implants is accurate, is presented from the patient's perspective, and promotes the method's use.

Keywords: YouTube; contraceptive implant; family planning; social media.