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Where is the truth in Medicine?

How do you understand what you, of all others, need? Do different clinics give different recommendations? All doctors have different opinions on one and the same issue. In the best-case scenario, this opinion will have grounds, in the worst-case scenario, it is presented as a dogma. 

There are a gazillion of private stories and a lot of advice on the Internet: “I was treated in such and such a way, and here I am, happy as ever!” or “Well, I had this procedure and it did not help. Ladies, do not do it!” All of them contradict each other, defend their own truth and confuse you entirely. 

Yet it is you who will undergo treatment and it is you who will pay, and not only with money but also with your time and health, and – sorry for the big words – with your very destiny. 

Are there any criteria at all that would make it possible for a non-specialist to understand what is true and what is not, and is there any objective knowledge? 

1.      Do not heed advice

Advice is based on individual stories with their own specific features that do not necessarily reflect your own. The adviser does not know your entire medical history and, as a rule, does not have the necessary education and experience. 
There is an old parable about Avicenna who restored a patient's sight by giving him a certain medication. Avicenna's amazed pupil «prescribed» this medication to his relative who had the same symptoms, whereat the latter went completely blind. In the end, Avicenna drives his pupil away reading him a long lecture on various causes of diseases and saying that a person with such a superficial understanding of a disease who yet dares to try and “cure” it on his own can never be a doctor. 

It does sound somewhat far-fetched, and the final conclusion is not that obvious (I think that if the pupil manages to overcome this and to go on with his studies, he will be especially thoughtful and careful). Yet the idea is clear, isn’t it? 

2.    “Divide and rule”

You name it, it’s all there on the Internet: the latest scientific achievements along with complete nonsense and bigotry. The question is where to look for the facts and how to assess what you find. 

You will hardly find any objective scientific knowledge at the following links: 
§  www.yandex.ru
§  www.rambler.ru
§  www.probirka.ru
§  www.pregnancy.manual.ru

Although you can find something of value there as well. 

Ideally, you should seek knowledge from scientific publications: 
§  www.pubmed.org
§  www.tripdatabase.com
§  www.theococyranelibrary.com

By the way, the information in such sources is not necessarily extremely complex and incomprehensible. You can find good review papers on almost any subject that would not be overcomplicated. These are exactly the ones you need. Yet of course, you have to search for them. 

While at it, you will need (1) the knowledge of English; (2) the understanding of what you are looking for (a search direction, key words); (3) willpower – so that not to lose courage . 

Alternatively, you can go to www.wikipedia.org or http://dic.academic.ru

Though there you will of course find second-hand material whose authors give their attitude to the objective reality rather than reflect it. Hence you should be skeptical about what you read and be very careful about trusting the author. 

Among such articles, it would be more sensible to choose the ones where the author does not just narrate “as is” but gives reasons for his/her opinion, cites publications and refers to reliable sources. 

3.    “Reliable sources”

It is good to know what recommendations are heeded by specialists. 

There are a few international organizations working in the fields of Embryology and Fertility Science that occasionally publish “expert opinions”. These are:
§  http://alphascientists.org/wb/index.php
§  http://www.asrm.org/
§  http://www.eshre.eu/

These expert opinions can be trusted! These are not private stories or personal preferences of particular individuals but data based on colossal efforts of a number of specialists and summarized by an expert committee.

Science and medicine