Big Data for Reproductive Health (2020-2021)

This project team examined social media data to analyze prospective trends in contraceptive use in local and global contexts. Partnering with IntraHealth’s digital health team, students conducted landscape analysis on social media, contraceptive use and public health.

Team members divided into two subteams to investigate whether social media data sources can be used to measure contraceptive use and its discontinuation, design public health interventions and conduct disease surveillance.

Team RGB investigated the effects of large-scale conservative political events in the U.S. on the discussion around long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) and LARC uptake on Twitter. The team hand-coded over 10,000 tweets with mentions of two popular LARC methods (IUD or Nexplanon) with the goal of qualifying and quantifying sentiment and perceptions around LARC. Following this, students trained a model with part of their hand-coded dataset that accurately classified tweets with regards to LARC sentiment and LARC uptake sentiment. They are currently producing a manuscript for publication, a poster and visual aids representing their findings, and plan to share their classifier model for tweet analysis in relation to LARC-related sentiment.

Team MythBusters sought to understand the extent, in terms of quantity, sentiment and influence, to which Twitter users in the U.S. believe that oral contraceptives can lead to future fertility issues in women. The team pulled data every week for four weeks; each tweet was hand-coded by two people; and then the differences were reconciled in preparation for aggregate analysis. Their analysis revealed that the most common topic related to the discussion of oral contraceptives is pregnancy and there are also substantial discussions around the pill’s effect on health in general. They also found discussion around men’s role in contraceptive health was among the top 10 topics.


Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

Team Outputs

Lauren Mitchell, Bhamini Vellanki, Linda Tang, Kelly Hunter, Amy Finnegan, Jonas Swartz, Megan Huchko. Contraceptive Provision to Women With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Enrolled in Medicaid. 2023. Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Team website

Using Social Media to Analyze Reproductive Behavior (2021 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Big Data for Reproductive Health: Team RBG (poster by Dennis Harrsch, Chelsea Jubitana, Manvi Malhotra, Linda Tang, and Bhamini Vellanki)

Myths and Misinformation Surrounding Oral Contraceptives on Twitter (poster by Shana Abraham, Priya Parkash, Meghan Peel and Qintian Zhang (runner up, Bass Connections Poster Competition, Judges’ Selection)

This Team in the News

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2022

Graduate and Professional Student Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2023

See related teams, Big Data for Reproductive Health (2021-2022) and Big Data for Reproductive Health (2019-2020).


Image from “Using a chord diagram to visualize dynamics in contraceptive use: Bringing data into practice,” by Amy Finnegan, Saumya S. Sao, Megan J. Huchko


Team Leaders

  • Amy Finnegan, IntraHealth International
  • Megan Huchko, School of Medicine-Obstetrics and Gynecology

/graduate Team Members

  • Kelly Hunter, Public Policy Studies-PHD

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Shana Abraham, Program II (AB)
  • Dennis Harrsch Jr., Computer Science (BS)
  • Chelsea Jubitana, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Manvi Malhotra, Economics (BS)
  • Priya Parkash, Statistical Science (BS)
  • Meghan Peel, Biology (BS)
  • Linda Tang, Biology (BS)
  • Bhamini Vellanki, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Qintian Zhang, Statistical Science (BS)

/zcommunity Team Members

  • IntraHealth International