MedlinePlus - Pregnancy and Reproduction leads users to a broad array of information about pregnancy and reproduction. The section includes a medical encyclopedia and links to a variety outside resources to educate users about pregnancy, pregnancy complications, reproductive health, and problems associated with reproduction. A few newborn problems due to pregnancy complications are discussed, such as hemolytic disease of newborn. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.
The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list. Overlap between "Female Reproductive System" and "Pregnancy and Reproduction" may require users to search both sections to look for specific information. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of the process and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to pregnancy & reproduction. 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.
The home page is minimalistic, with only a simple list of topics, without any images or other infographics to appeal to users.
Women will find adequate depth of information about pregnancy, female reproductive issues, and fetal health. 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. Information about infant development is beyond the scope of this section. The male reproductive health content is superfluous and should not have been included. Inconsistent referencing make the reliability of each MedlinePlus page variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for pregnancy & reproductive health information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or specialty organization sites.
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.
Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about and related to pregnancy and female reproductive health
Multiple links to reliable & up-to-date information about pregnancy, complications of pregnancy, female reproductive health, and disorders of the female reproductive system
Large subsections on "Health Problems in Pregnancy," Pregnancy," and "Fetal Health & Development" are especially detailed and helpful
Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and supplemented with materials generated by authoritative organizations
Significant overlap of topics with the "Female Reproductive System" and "Male Reproductive System" sections limit the utility of each section
Discussion about newborn problems due to pregnancy complications is inadequate and should be covered in more detail, either here or in a neonatal section
User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced here
Sponsors / Affiliations:
The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health
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