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Oocyte cryopreservation on TikTok and Instagram: Who is teaching whom?

PURPOSE: Oocyte cryopreservation (OC) is a medical intervention for reproductive-aged women, a demographic that uses social media heavily. This study characterizes the top TikTok videos and Instagram reels on OC.

METHODS: Five hashtags pertaining to OC were selected: #oocytepreservation, #oocytecryopreservation, #eggfreezing, #oocytefreezing, and #fertilitypreservation. Top videos for each hashtag were evaluated for source, content, impact, and quality on both platforms. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed to analyze differences between laypeople and medical professionals.

RESULTS: From March to April 2023, 332 posts were reviewed. The most popular hashtags on TikTok and Instagram were #eggfreezing (n = 5.6 million views, n = 68,500 + posts) and #fertilitypreservation (n = 9 million views, n = 20,700 + posts). Laypeople dominated as sources (57.8%, 35.2%), followed by physicians (17.0%, 32.4%). No professional societies videos were found. Educational information (53.1%, 48.6%) was most frequently shared on both platforms respectively, followed by personal experiences (36.1%, 21.6%). Laypersons' posts were dominated by personal experiences (62.0%) with educational content second (33.3%). Educational content by medical professionals was more accurate on both TikTok and Instagram than patients (p < 0.001, p < 0.001). #Eggfreezing had the greatest impact for both patients and medical professionals based on shares (n = 9653, n = 3093), likes (n = 713,263, n = 120,700), and comments (n = 35,453, n = 1478). Notably, laypersons had a larger follower count than medical professionals (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The majority of available videos are from laypeople, focus on education topics, and are less accurate in comparison to those from medical professionals. Professional societies have an opportunity to enhance their social media presence for better availability and accuracy of OC information.

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