If you have used the Internet to connect with others experiencing infertility either through online communities, blogs or other social media you may want to consider the following questions:
- Is the person communicating on-line in the same situation as you in terms of age, diagnosis, and partner’s fertility?
- Is the information provided from the perspective of an “unsuccessful” or “successful” patient?
- Are costs for treatment and possible travel discussed?
- Are references and resources listed?
- Is sponsorship or commercial funding clearly listed if relevant?
- Is the posted information dated so you can tell how current it is?
- If you are getting information from a home page, is the site linked to other sites on related topics? If not, the home page may be presenting only one viewpoint on an issue.
- If an IVF clinic or fertility specialist is being recommended, are they SASREG accredited or at least (in the case of an individual) a specialist gynaecologist with experience in reproductive endocrinology and infertility?
Don’t base your medical work-up or treatment options just on the personal stories of others. Do take notes and ask your specialist what his/her opinion is about a particular test or treatment. Ask about the pros and cons. Keep in mind that the Internet is an excellent vehicle of communication that can provide information, but it also can be a sophisticated and subtle form of advertisement. Be a wise, informed consumer/patient.
No information on the Internet is a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
– content curtesy of Resolve