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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.

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