Recommended

MedlinePlus – Female Reproductive System

MedlinePlus - Female Reproductive System is a great source of information about female reproductive health & breast disease. The section includes a medical encyclopedia and links to a variety outside resources with a wide range of information about pregnancy complications, female reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases, and disorders of the female reproductive system. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019

Scoring

Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list or reproductive organ. Overlap between "Female Reproductive System" and "Pregnancy and Reproduction" may require users to search both sections to look for specific information. There are more topics available when browsing by anatomy than by topic. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of the disease and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to the condition. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

The home page is very plain, having only a list of topics & systems along with a simple illustration of the female reproductive system.

Quality

Women will find adequate depth of information about pregnancy & female reproductive issues. However, combining this section with the "Pregnancy and Reproduction" section would have collected all of the related content in a single section with better depth. Inconsistent referencing make the reliability of each MedlinePlus page for a disease or condition variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for disease summaries and information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or specialty organization sites.

Credibility

MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Department of Health and Human Services - Office on Women's Health, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally credited on the linked sites.

Pros

  1. Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about and related to pregnancy and female reproductive health
  2. Multiple links to reliable & up-to-date information about health problems in pregnancy, female reproductive health, and disorders of the female reproductive system
  3. Large subsections on "Health Problems in Pregnancy," "Pregnancy," and "Breast Diseases" are particularly detailed and helpful
  4. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and supplemented with materials generated by authoritative organizations

Cons

  1. Significant overlap of topics with the "Pregnancy and Reproduction" section limit the utility of each section
  2. The limited information about male reproductive health is superfluous in this section
  3. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website accessed

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Patient handouts, videos, images, relevant journal articles, specialist finder, links to research, health check tools, clinical trials

Languages: English, Spanish

Contact: custserv@nlm.nih.gov

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