I’ve read something online…. is it really true?
The internet. A wonderful source of information…. and hideously misleading. A place where you can learn anything you want… and be bombarded with ‘fake news’!
There are a lot of scary stories about hysterectomies online. Some are true, some are not. And those that are true might not apply to you. So how do you know whether to trust what you’re reading? I’d like to give you some basic pointers, and if you’ve read something in particular I’d recommend searching through the articles because I might have written about it specifically.
Not all information on the internet is created equal, and one of the first ways to assess it is to look at the source. Is it on a reputable website? Now by that i don’t mean a professional-looking website, I mean a website for an organisation that actually exists – the Mayo Clinic for example, or Brigham Young Womens Hospital. That information is likely trustworthy. If the information comes from a personal blog, then it’s just the experience of one person, so think of it like that. One person’s experience doesn’t equal everyone’s experience!
Does the website have an agenda? Some websites are trying to make you buy things (for example: websites promoting natural cures are often selling herbal remedies at the same time – they want you to think a natural cure will work). Other websites are trying to promote a particular treatment (for example: a website for a medical practice offering uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) won’t speak well of hysterectomies because they want you to choose a UFE with them instead of a hysterectomy). And other websites might just be scaremongering websites, doing everything they can to put you off a hysterectomy.
Does it *sound* right? I know this is subjective, but often if you stop and really think about something you’ll find something in your mind flashing a warning light. For example: having a hysterectomy will make your spine collapse. Stop and think about this for a minute… does that sound right? Put your immediate fear aside and think about it…. why would that happen? How would it happen? And the answer is… it doesn’t. (you can read more here). Another example: this herbal cure made from 3 special herbs will cure your fibroids in 30 days! Again, stop and think about this. Put aside your excitement and think about it rationally. How likely is this? If it’s true, why are so many women needing different surgeries for fibroids… how does no one else know about this if it works? A cure like this would travel like wildfire – after all that’s what the internet does! Wait… they want $179 to send you this pill. And it’s not accredited… how will you know what you’re really getting? If the pills don’t work, do you think you’d get your money back? If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Sadly, when it comes to medical treatments, there are always scam artists who will use people’s desperation to avoid surgery as a way to get money out of them.
This way of thinking applies to anything, not just medical information online. Look at where the info is coming from; does it seem trustworthy? Does the person have a motive? Do they stand to gain from telling you this information? Does it seem too awful to be true, or too good to be true?