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The internet can be an amazing source for info, but how do you know if what you’re seeing is trustworthy?

Anyone with any agenda can post online, and personal stories aren’t the same thing as real health information. For example, if you’re on TikTok, you’ve probably seen people talking about problems they had with certain birth control methods. These stories can be scary — even though research shows that most people can safely use birth control and serious problems are very rare. This doesn’t mean their experiences aren’t real, but it also doesn’t mean the same thing will happen to you. Everyone’s body and situation is different, and millions of people have used birth control with no problem at all. 

Why are people posting about this stuff?

People are more likely to take to the internet if they had a negative experience — so we often hear more bad stories than good ones, even if good experiences are way more common. Think about it: are you more likely to leave a review online if you had a pretty nice meal with good service, or if the waiter was rude and there was a fly in your soup?

Consider the source

Even if they sound like they know what they’re talking about, not everybody's a health expert or a reliable source of facts. Celebrities or influencers may seem like people you can trust because they share their lives online and feel like close friends. But social media is also their job — it’s how they make money and promote their brands. They’re often paid to promote products or services, and it’s not always obvious when a post is an ad. 

So where can you go for trustworthy information about sexual health? You can always count on the experts at Planned Parenthood to give you the real facts without bias, IRL and online. Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit health care organization, and has been around for over 100 years — the only agenda we have is to give you accurate information and quality, compassionate, nonjudgmental care, so you can make your own decisions and live your healthiest, happiest life. 

You can go to one of our 600 Planned Parenthood health centers for in-person or telehealth services. All of the nurses, doctors, educators, and counselors at our health centers are trained, licensed medical professionals.

And check out our digital resources:

  • Roo — Our sex ed chatbot.
  • Chat/Text — Chat or text with a live health educator, free and confidential.
  • Spot On — Our free, gender-neutral period, fertility, and birth control method tracker app that never stores or sells your data.
  • PlannedParenthood.org — Clear, accurate, up-to-date information about hundreds of health topics.
  • Planned Parenthood on social media — Follow us on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for fun sex ed content and the latest in reproductive health news.

Tags: sex education, birth control, sexual health, Misinformation, social media