The Internet is both a blessing and a curse for the medical profession. Embarrassing womens health questions and answers can be exchanged in privacy without family members or employers knowing the content discussed. But not all medical websites provide accurate information.
Check the Affiliation
Before acting on advice given in women questions and answers forums or websites, check to see the website’s affiliation. Is it a part of an established medical facility like the Mayo Clinic? Just because it may have photos of doctors and discuss women’s health issues does not mean that it is affiliated or run by a hospital, medical university, medical association or other legitimate health facilities.
Very slick websites run by pharmaceutical companies may look as if it is run by a legitimate medical facility. These websites may include videos, testimonials and details list of symptoms for specific conditions like migraines or infertility. These are websites made to sell specific medications. Ignore these websites unless they are recommended by your doctor or gynecologist.
Check the Authors
Are the authors of articles, blog posts and websites doctors, therapists or nurses? Legitimate medical websites offer a link to a short biography or list of credentials for a contributor. Not all legitimate medical websites will have authors listed for their articles. But if there are authors listed, they should be named so you can quickly Google their names to see if they are real people or pseudonyms.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are trying to penalize consumer content websites where anyone can publish anything they want. These websites are set up to get ad-click revenue. In other words, they get paid every time someone clicks on their ads. The content is written to attract readers and to appear high in search engine rankings.
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