Women at risk as they check health symptoms online

'One in four' have misdiagnosed themselves online

Thousands of women are putting their health at risk by misdiagnosing themselves by checking symptoms on the internet, it is claimed today.

One in four British women has misdiagnosed themselves online, researchers said, while they are almost twice as likely to check the internet before consulting a doctor.

Half of 1,000 women surveyed by researchers said they would first try to treat an ailment themselves rather than risk embarrassment.

But experts said that checking symptoms online and self-medicating has led a tenth of the country's women to suffer unpleasant side effects as a result of their misdiagnosis.

The research found a quarter of British women will trust the internet for advice on treatments if they find their symptoms embarrassing.

The survey was commissioned by feminine health brand Balance Activ to raise awareness of Bacterial Vaginosis, a condition that is almost twice as prevalent as thrush that two out of three women are misdiagnosing.

The most commonly illnesses that are misdiagnosed by women going online include cancer, especially breast cancer, thrush, high blood pressure and asthma, researchers said.

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