Category Archives: Health Tips

Most women are aware of the strange cravings that occur once you’re pregnant. You know, things like pickles dipped in peanut butter or meat-cravings when you’ve been a vegetarian for years. It is extra important to pay attention to what you put in your body as the appropriate amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals will be good for the baby’s development. Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet is imperative to you and your baby’s health. Doing so will also benefit you in the long run since it will be  much easier for you to lose the unwanted pregnancy weight that shows after giving birth.

It can be a struggle to figure out what exactly to eat when it’s for two, so we’ll narrow it down to the top 10 foods for pregnant moms to clear up any confusion or concerns you may have. Note that exposing your baby to healthy foods in the womb will raise the likelihood of them not only recognizing, but also embracing those flavors later on.

  1. Eggs

First and foremost, eggs are an excellent source of protein for your

pregnancy diet. The amino acids in the protein help the cells in both your body and

your baby’s. Eggs also have a good portion of vitamins and minerals that you need, one

of them being choline. Choline is great for the development of your baby’s brain and

spinal cord while also helping you avoid neural tube disadvantages. Add veggies and cheese to your eggs and you’re on your way to having yourself a yummy frittata. This is the perfect breakfast to start out your day in a healthy way!

  1. Salmon

If you’re a fan of seafood, the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are essential for healthy development of your baby, and may even improve your mood. For the 8-12 ounces of seafood pregnant ladies are recommended to take in every week, cooked salmon is your best bet, especially because it is low in mercury.

  1. Beans

Beans are also another example of an ideal food to eat during pregnancy because they contain protein, iron, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and the fatty acids that are essential for pregnancy. They’re also rich in fiber and can help with preventing and alleviating pregnancy discomforts like constipation and hemorrhoids.

  1. Sweet Potatoes

Believe it or not, but the orange color on sweet potatoes comes from carotenoids and its plant pigments become vitamin A in our bodies. They also contain vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber.

  1. Walnuts

This may sound “nuts,” but walnuts are your best friend as they are rich in plant-based omega-3s.

They make a great quick snack and can also be tossed into a salad.

  1. Whole Grains

For fiber and nutrients with antioxidant vitamin E and mineral selenium, it’s ideal to include whole grains in your diet. They also are made up of phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that preserve cells. Depending on your taste buds, you can try different kinds from barley and oats to buckwheat and spelt. Whole grains can fit in with many meals, so don’t be afraid to be creative!

  1. Greek Yogurt

Dairy products are beneficial to your diet as well, especially Greek yogurt. It contains regular yogurt beat with twice the protein, and has plenty of probiotics and calcium. The calcium helps with the growth of your baby’s skeleton while also keeping your own bones strong. It can be included in breakfast or as a side to a wholesome meal.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables

You want your diet to be colorful, and fruits and veggies will do just the trick. You and your baby will get plenty of nutrients when you eat the rainbow — green, yellow, orange, purple, and red fruits and veggies offer lots of essential vitamins and minerals. An easy way to incorporate these would be with a salad. It could also go with just about any meal of your choice. The more colorful your plate is, the better.

  1. Lean meats

If you aren’t ready to sacrifice meat in your diet, don’t you worry! Meat can be a great source of protein just as long as you find cuts that are around 95-98% fat free. Beef and pork are the best options since they have choline. It should be noted, however, to avoid hot dogs and deli meats unless they are heated properly. There is a slight risk of infection from these foods if there is bacteria and parasites present, such as toxoplasma, listeria, and salmonella, which could be a potential hazard during pregnancy for you and your baby.

  1. Dark leafy greens

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to eat your greens — specifically spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and other dark leafy greens. These are prenatal superfoods with more than enough vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, on top of folic acid. They go well in practically anything, like smoothies, omelets, soups, and stir-fries.

As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea does everything in her power to help empower women and educate them about their bodies, whether it’s by simply giving crucial health care tips, or presenting them with healthy diet options when pregnant to prevent any issues. If you want to learn more about what foods are good for you and your baby, and would like to speak with a female obstetrician you can confide in, come by Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office, or call 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment.

As there are several treatment options for fibroids, it’s hard to pick out the best course of action.

There are plenty of women with uterine fibroids that don’t come across any signs or symptoms, or experience moderately irritating but bearable signs and symptoms. Treatment for fibroids may vary between no treatment whatsoever to surgery. Unless fibroids are causing excessive bleeding, discomfort, or bladder issues, treatment for the most part isn’t necessary.

The good news is that not all fibroids expand. Even those bigger in size may not lead to any symptoms, and most become smaller after menopause.

You should still keep track of its size if you happen to face any pain or bleeding. Try to make a habit of receiving pelvic exams every year just to be safe.

Although you can’t get rid of fibroids on your own, there are still things to help with the pain or discomfort you may be feeling. Once fibroids develop on the outside of the uterus, you may notice a lump on your tummy. You can lie down and place a hot pack or water bottle on your lower midsection to alleviate the pain. You’d have to be consistent with it numerous times a day. You can also take pain relievers, like ibuprofen.

Other options include:

Hormone Therapy

To keep the fibroid from growing, your obgyn may advise that you stop taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. In other cases, however, they may prescribe birth control pills to help limit the bleeding and anemia from fibroids, even though the hormones can make fibroids grow.

GnRH Agonists

GnRH is a hormone your body naturally produces. An agonist medicine counteracts that hormone, and your obstetrician may prescribe one to shrink fibroids and reduce anemia. These drugs don’t come cheap. You shouldn’t take them for more than 6 months because they can increase the likelihood of you getting osteoporosis, which weakens your bones. Your doctor may also prescribe a small dose of progestin, another hormone, to make osteoporosis less possible. When you stop taking a GnRH agonist, the likeliness of your fibroids growing back exists.

There are a few alternatives that you might want to think about.

Fibroid embolization can shrink a fibroid. Your doctor would be injecting polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) into the arteries, which ends up feeding the fibroid. The PVA cuts off the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink. It’s not surgery, but you might have to spend a couple of nights in the hospital because you could face nausea, vomiting, and pain within the first set of days afterward.

Endometrial ablation is a procedure where doctors break apart the lining of the uterus to reduce the flow of the bleeding connected to tiny fibroids.

Myomectomy is a surgery to weed out fibroids. If you plan to become pregnant, your obgyn may highly suggest this option overs. Keep in mind that scarring can happen, when the last thing you want is to end up infertile. You’d have to be patient and wait 4-6 months after surgery before you attempt to conceive. In the vast majority of women, symptoms tend to go away following a myomectomy. But in others, the fibroids return. Whether it works has to do with how many fibroids you have and whether the surgeon is able to clear them all out. A myomectomy may be abdominal surgery, or your surgeon may use a hysteroscope or laparoscope to take out the fibroids without having to make a large cut on your stomach. There is also an experimental system that uses MRI-guided ultrasound energy to find the fibroids and diminish or destroy them.

Hysterectomy is surgery that removes the uterus. Many women don’t require such drastic treatment. Note that you won’t be able to get pregnant after this operation.

As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea is able to offer assistance along with treatment to her patients who experience uterine fibroids. She always looks to ensure her patients’ comfort whenever they visit her office. For those looking for a Plantation obgyn group, feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Ghea at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or filling out an online request.

After a woman’s body has experienced childbirth, she may notice a lot of changes to her body. Some may be positive, and others may be a little more uncomfortable, embarrassing, and downright annoying.

One of these unpleasant, yet sometimes unavoidable post-pregnancy conditions is stress urinary incontinence.

Despite its name, stress urinary incontinence has nothing to do with psychological or mental stress. Here, stress refers to the pressure put on the bladder during some sort of physical movement which then causes an unintentional loss of urine. This health condition is much more common in women than men, mainly because childbirth is a main cause. Stress incontinence happens as a result of the weakening of muscles or tissues in the body that support the bladder and regulate the release of urine. When a woman gives birth naturally, there is a chance of tissue or nerve damage that can cause poor function of the pelvic floor muscles or the sphincter. Stress urinary incontinence can also be seen in women who have delivered their children by cesarean as well.

Women who have stress urinary incontinence may experience leakage during activities such as exercise and sexual intercourse, and even simple movements such as standing up, coughing, sneezing or laughing. The condition can become worse if you are a smoker, since that causes excessive coughing, or if you have an illness that causes chronic coughing and sneezing. Obesity can also worsen stress urinary incontinence, as can any kind of high-impact activity.

Some women will experience stress incontinence right after delivery, and others may not until much later. Either way, it can have a drastic effect on a woman’s self-esteem, as well as their work and social life. If your symptoms affect your daily life, it is strongly advised to speak with a doctor. Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, is available to talk with you about your personal experience with stress urinary incontinence, and will offer her best women’s health tips regarding how to treat it.

There are various medications and surgeries that can help alleviate stress urinary incontinence, but there are plenty of natural remedies for treating stress urinary incontinence too, such as the following:

  1. Do kegel exercises, which flex the same muscles used to stop urinary flow.
  2. Start a fitness regimen to get rid of any excess belly fat, which can put pressure on the bladder and pelvic muscles.
  3. Make sure you are getting enough magnesium, a mineral that helps with muscle and nerve function, and vitamin D, which studies show can reduce the risk of incontinence.   
  4. If you’re a smoker, quit. Now. All that unnecessary coughing is not helping.
  5. Try acupuncture, as it can help with balancing out the body as whole.
  6. Cut out caffeine (or at the very least, cut back). It’s a diuretic that can contribute to bladder irritation and stimulate muscle contractions, which can cause incontinence.
  7. Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated will help you go to the bathroom on a regular basis, and keep you from getting constipated, which can cause incontinence.

If you are suffering from stress urinary incontinence and looking for treatment advice from an obgyn in Plantation, Dr. Ghea is here to help. Appointments can be made with her at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office, by calling 954-473-2011.

When it comes to methods of contraception and your health, there are a multitude of options and approaches you can take in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, STD, or STI. However, you should always be aware of the effects of each individual contraceptive method, and how they will affect your health.

About two thirds of women in America utilize some form of birth control at some point in their lives. Options can range from something disposable like a condom, to something that has to be implemented into your daily or weekly routine such as birth control pills and birth control patches. There is also the option of the vaginal ring, which has to be replaced monthly, and a birth control shot that you must remember to go back and get every 3 months.

Last December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report on the present state of contraception, including which ones were the most common methods. The report is based upon statistics uncovered from the 2015–2017 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which questioned 5,554 women about their birth control use in the previous month.

The reports showed the most popular contraceptive methods women choose. Female sterilization ranked at 18.6 percent, with the birth control following in popularity at 12.6 percent.  Implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) came in at 10.3 percent, and male condoms at 8.7 percent. 

It is difficult to assume which method is best for you without consulting the right doctor to suit your needs and lifestyle. Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, can help you pick the ideal method of contraception for your body and your preferences. Each kind of contraception requires individual testing and/or considerations prior to initiation. It is important to know the health risks of each type of contraception just as it is important to note that they do not protect you from STDs. Therefore, it is highly recommended to play it safe by regularly using condoms to lessen the risk.

If you decide to get started with the pill, it is essential for you to take your birth control pill daily, or you may not be protected from pregnancy. Take advantage of birth control reminder Apps on your phone, set alarms, or keep your pill pack next to items you use on a day-to-day basis (i.e. your toothbrush or phone charger) to help you remember.

Keep in mind that the hormones in the pill can alter your level of sexual desire. You may also experience spotting or bleeding between periods, sore breasts, nausea, or headaches. Most side effects of the pill typically go away after two or three months once your body has fully adjusted. Many people use the pill without any issues.

If you have a busy schedule and feel as if you might have a hard time keeping track of your pill dosage every day, you might want something more low-maintenance like IUDs. These take little-to-no thought on a daily basis, and there is no risk of missing a pill or shot.

Some women face side effects after getting an IUD. They generally go away in about 3–6 months, once your body gets accustomed to it in your uterus. Side effects may involve pain once the IUD is inserted, cramping or backaches a few days after getting it, spotting between periods, irregular periods, or heavier periods and worse menstrual cramps.

If you are unsure of which method of contraception is best for you and are searching for an obgyn in Plantation, Dr. Ghea is happy to assist you. Schedule an appointment with her at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office, by calling 954-473-2011.

As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea makes it her goal to help empower women and educate them about their bodies, whether it simply be by providing essential health care tips, or advising them on how to prevent serious conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). With the right knowledge and women’s health tips, women can prevent and protect themselves from experiencing the repercussions of such a disease that affects the reproductive organs, and can ultimately cause problems when trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy, or result in long-lasting pelvic pain.

In 2013 alone, 88,000 women ages 14-44 were diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease. It is most often caused by bacteria from an untreated sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, traveling from the vagina or cervix into the reproductive organs. However, PIDs can also be a result of other non-sexually transmitted infections as well. One example of this is when bacteria travels into the reproductive organs because of douching, which refers to the washing or cleaning out the vagina with water and other fluids. This is not a doctor-recommended practice, so please refrain from this at all costs, as it can cause potential harm.

It can be hard for women to detect whether they have a pelvic inflammatory disease or not, because symptoms are not always completely obvious. However, when they do appear, they are difficult to ignore. The most common sign of pelvic inflammatory disease is pain the lower abdomen; additional symptoms include a fever of 100.4°F or higher, vaginal discharge with a foul odor, painful sex or urination, irregular menstrual periods, or in rare instances, pain in the upper right abdomen. Pelvic inflammatory disease can creep up on you out of nowhere, and bring with it severe pain and discomfort.

How can you protect yourself? The only way to truly avoid getting any kind of sexually transmitted infection, which is the most common cause of PID, is by refraining from sexual activity; however, that is not the case for most women. The best piece of advice is simple: be smart. If you are sexually active, follow these top three tips to keep yourself safe: use condoms, practice monogamy, and get tested. Reports of PID diagnosis has gone down in recent years due to what experts believe to be more and more women getting tested for STIs. One simple test can save you from lifetime of struggle. As mentioned earlier, it is also high recommended to stay away from douching, as this can remove some of the normal, protective bacteria that is in the vagina.

Pelvic inflammatory disease can be treated with antibiotics that will fight off the bacteria. Dr. Ghea, a top obgyn in Plantation, can prescribe this medication to you if you are diagnosed with PID. It is crucial for patients to finish the entire prescription, even if symptoms begin to subside or disappear, to ensure that the infection is completely cured. In some extreme cases, a hospital visit may be needed.

Left untreated, pelvic inflammatory disease can cause major problems such as infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Antibiotics can treat the disease, but if there has been internal damage done to any of your reproductive organs, it can not reverse them. If you suspect you may have pelvic inflammatory disease, and are looking for a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea is available to see patients at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office. Call 954-473-2011 to make an appointment.

Suffering from exterior dry skin is one thing, but suffering from interior vaginal dryness is a whole different issue. Vaginal dryness can be caused by a myriad of things, such as hormonal changes, stress, anxiety, and certain medications…

…and it can affect women of all ages.

Sure, there are ways to fight off these dry spells; hormone therapy, for instance, or various kinds of vaginal moisturizers and lubricants, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that vaginal dryness is frustrating, unpleasant, and disruptive to everyday life — especially if you are in a sexually active relationship.

Unfortunately, one of the main results of vaginal dryness is painful, uncomfortable sexual intercourse, which would explain why vaginal dryness is one of the most common reasons women might experience a decreased desire for sex, become less aroused, or just back away from the idea of intercourse in general. Although vaginal dryness shows no age discrimination, it’s most commonly seen in older woman who are going through perimenopause or menopause due to decreased levels of estrogen being produced in the body. This female hormone, estrogen, keeps vaginal tissue healthy and is a crucial component to the production of vaginal lubrication, tissue elasticity, and acidity. Aside from perimenopause and menopause, reduced estrogen levels in the body can also be caused by childbirth, breast-feeding, smoking cigarettes, immune disorders, effects on the ovaries from cancer therapy, ovary removal surgery, or use of anti-estrogen medication.

Treatment for vaginal dryness depends on the cause. Aside from the changes in hormones seen during perimenopause and menopause, additional causes include:

  1. Medicines such as those containing antihistamines or asthma medications, which can both have a drying effect on the body.
  2. Insufficient arousal caused by a low libido or sexual problems with your current partner.
  3. Irritants in soaps, hygiene products, dyes, and perfumes — even some lubricants can also contain allergen, so be aware of the ingredients in any vaginal products you are using.
  4. Anxiety, which results in insufficient blood flow, affecting the production of normal vaginal lubrication.

Luckily, there are ways to reverse this bothersome feeling. Some doctors may recommend treatments such as estrogen inserts for those who are suffering from reduced estrogen. For women who experience vaginal dryness coupled with hot flashes, oral medicines or skin patches that release estrogen may be the most helpful. A combination of both types of treatments can be used as well. If estrogen-based therapy is not your cup of tea, you can find relief from silicone-, oil-, and water-based lubricants, depending on your personal preference. While these lubricants will help make intercourse more comfortable, it is not a long-term treatment option. Over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers are an effective option for minimizing dryness for a prolonged period of time after just one use.

If you’re experiencing this uncomfortable sensation and need women’s health advice from a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician, Dr. Ghea is the female obgyn in Plantation you should reach out to. Call Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 to book an appointment with Dr. Ghea, a top choice female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale.

Did you know that urinary tract infections are the cause of just over 8 million trips to a healthcare provider by women in the U.S. each year? You’ve likely experienced the wrath of a UTI — that burning, itching, uncomfortable sensation that makes you want to curl up in a ball and never leave your bed. Some women get them a lot worse than others, and some more frequently than others as well. What causes these frustrating, painful infections? While our body’s immune system generally does a good job at keeping away infections, those pesky germs sometimes still sneak through. A UTI is caused by bacteria (usually e. coli) that enters the urethra, sticks to the bladder wall and multiplies. The infection begins in the lower urinary tract, where the urethra and bladder are found, the areas that control urine in the body. Common symptoms of a UTI are pelvic pain, burning with urination, and an urgent or frequent need to urinate.

While women are the most likely to contract a UTI, men and children of all ages can also get them. Women are the most at risk because their urethra is much shorter than men’s, and the opening is much closer to the anus, which means that bacteria has a shorter distance to travel between the two areas on a woman than it does on a man. Other risk factors include being sexually active, as sexual intercourse can actually push bacteria into the urethra; being older and having gone through menopause, as lower levels of estrogen affect the levels of healthy, infection-fighting bacteria in the body; using diaphragms or spermicide-coated condoms; having trouble urinating, which can promote bacterial growth; having a kidney stone, or in men, an enlarged prostate; having diabetes or a weakened immune system; having prior UTIs; and using a catheter or having undergone a recent surgery or medical procedure involving the urinary tract.

Thankfully, there are many doctor-approved ways to avoid UTIs that Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, both agrees with and recommends. These are important women’s health tips to follow if you want to prevent yourself from experiencing these common infections.

First and foremost, the most basic way to rid your body of bacteria in the bladder is by flushing it out before it can really set it and do its damage. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and if you need to go to the bathroom, don’t hold it in! Staying hydrated will help get you on a regular urination pattern, which will never allow bacteria to sit in the bladder and urinary tract for too long. This next tip may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many women don’t know to do this: wipe from front to back. The bacteria that most often causes a UTI is commonly found around the anus. Wiping from back to front, especially after a bowel movement, could bring along some severely unwanted friends. Stay away from any kind of feminine product that could be irritating too, such as douches, deodorant sprays, and scented powders.

It’s also important to make sure you wash before engaging in sexual intercourse, and urinate right afterward. Your method of birth control could also have an affect on whether or not you get a UTI. Diaphragms, spermicide or spermicide-lubricated condoms can all contribute to bacterial growth. If you experience frequent UTIs, consider switching to another birth control, and use a water-based lubricant if you suffer from any vaginal dryness.

If you are looking for an obgyn in Plantation, Dr. Ghea is available to see patients at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office. You can make an appointment by calling 954-473-2011 or using the request form online. Dr. Ghea is a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician with over 15 years of experience in the industry and a passion for bringing awareness to women’s health.

Are you suffering from uterine fibroids? These noncancerous growths, developed from the muscle tissue of the uterus, are most common in women ages 30-40, especially of African American descent, but could still occur at any age, in women of any nationality. Uterine fibroids vary in size, shape and location; they could be found inside the uterus, on the outside, within the uterine wall, or attached to it. Some women may only have one, and some may have multiple in varying shapes and sizes. They could start off small and increase in size at a fast pace, or grow much more slowly over a prolonged period of time.

Fibroids can cause a variety of symptoms in women, such as changes in their menstrual cycle including longer or more frequent, heavier periods, increased pain and cramps, vaginal bleeding not during menstruation, and anemia from this additional blood loss. Fibroids can also cause pain in the abdomen or lower back, pain during sexual intercourse, difficulty urinating or frequent urination, constipation, rectal pain or difficult bowel movements, abdominal cramps from an enlarged uterus and abdomen, and miscarriages — or fibroids may cause absolutely no symptoms at all. Fibroids could also cause infertility; however, other causes are more common, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider and consider other factors before settling. If fibroids are the culprit, most women are able to become pregnant after they have been treated.

As you can see, uterine fibroids have a mind of their own, which can make them a bit scary for women who have found out they have them through a routine pelvic exam, or perhaps through testing for another condition. Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Plantation, helps to make her patients feel at ease as they learn how to manage their uterine fibroids. She offers her best women’s health tips on how to treat these growths and the symptoms they cause.

Not all women with fibroids need treatment. For example, those who are in the clear include women who do not experience symptoms, those who only experience minor symptoms, or those who are closing in on menopause. Treatment is needed for women who experience heavy or painful menstrual periods that cause anemia or that disrupt a woman’s normal activities, bleeding between periods, uncertainty about whether the growth is a fibroid or another type of tumor, rapid increase in growth of the fibroid, infertility, or pelvic pain.

Treatment varies and can include things like drug therapy such as birth control pills or another type of hormonal control method to control heavy bleeding and painful periods, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists to stop the menstrual cycle and shrink fibroids to reduce the risk of bleeding during surgery, or a progestin-release intrauterine device, which reduces heavy and painful bleeding, but does not actually treat the fibroids; it’s used for women who have fibroids that do not distort the inside of the uterus.

Surgeries, such as a myomectomy or hysterectomy, are also treatment options. A myomectomy removes the fibroids while leaving the uterus in place, which allows the woman to still potentially have children. While fibroids cannot regrow after surgery, new growths can occur, and more surgery may be needed. On the flipside, a hysterectomy actually involves removal of the woman’s uterus, which would mean the woman would not be able to have children post-surgery. This procedure is done as a last resort if other treatments haven’t worked, or the fibroids grow too large.

As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding area, Dr. Ghea is able to provide help and treatment to her patients who suffer from uterine fibroids. She is a top choice when it comes to Fort Lauderdale obstetricians, and always makes sure her patients feel comfortable when they visit her office. For those looking for a Plantation obgyn group, make an appointment with Dr. Ghea at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or making a request online.