Dr Google creating added stress

12.05.14 Dr Google creating added stressA Sydney fertility specialist says couples relying on the internet to diagnose infertility could increase their stress levels and are better off consulting medical experts.

Dr Georgiana Tang (pictured), a fertility specialist, gynaecologist and clinical director of City Fertility Centre’s Liverpool clinic, said while patients were more informed than ever, they were depending on “Dr Google” for important health advice, which could do more harm than good.

“Overzealous internet research can lead to unfounded concerns for people with fertility issues,” Dr Tang said. “It’s important that anyone struggling to fall pregnant for six months or longer consults their GP or a fertility specialist to discuss their concerns in order to access credible information.”

Australians are among the world’s most prolific online self-diagnosers, alongside China, New Zealand and the US, according to a recent Health Pulse survey conducted by Bupa. [1]

Dr Tang, who holds a Master of Reproductive Medicine from the University of Western Sydney and has more than 15 years’ IVF experience, said there were a number of misunderstandings about assisted reproductive technology (ART).

“One of the most common misconceptions is that fertility issues always require In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) – often it is not necessary and only around 20 to 30 per cent of patients who see City Fertility Centre specialists go on to receive IVF treatment,” she said.

“Non-IVF methods, including addressing sperm or ovulation problems as well as timing, can substantially increase chances of pregnancy.”

Dr Tang’s most important piece of advice for couples trying to have a baby is to seek guidance early.

City Fertility Centre is one of Australia’s largest privately owned IVF businesses and opened its first New South Wales clinic in Liverpool on April 7, 2014. Click here to learn more about the clinic.

[1] Bupa Australia 2012 Health Pulse Survey http://blog.bupa.com.au/self-diagnosis-infographic/

 

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