You may have heard of the mood swings and hot flashes associated with periods. However, the end of your periods can also mean the start of some health issues. Most women would accept the changes without any issues, but others might develop some of the problems explained below.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

In young women, the pelvic muscles will be strong enough and will do a good job of contracting to keep everything in place. However, after menopause, the muscles will get weak, which in turn makes the uterus, vagina, bladder, or the rectum to droop downward. In some of the severe cases, one or more of these organs can hang out of the body of women like a ball, which can rub on clothes causing pain, bleeding, and many other discomforts.

Health experts say that women who have had a child through vaginal delivery are susceptible to pelvic organ prolapse. In addition, gaining weight after menopause can also put pressure on pelvic organs adding to the chances of pelvic organ prolapse. “It can also make it very hard to empty your bladder or bowels,” says Beri Ridgeway, MD, who is an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California. An OBGYN free clinic in your area can help you with the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic organ prolapse after menopause.

Liver Disease

In young women, the liver tends to easily repair damages from excess fat, alcohol, or infections. However, at times the liver can lay down scar tissue at the place of healthy cells. The female hormone estrogen might interfere with this process. When the amount of the hormone drops at menopause, scar tissues can build up in the organ leading to liver diseases. “Over time that may lead to advanced chronic liver disease,” says Carla Brady, MD, who is an assistant professor of medicine in gastroenterology at Duke University Medical Center.

The estrogen hormone also protects mitochondria in the liver cells. Mitochondria are called the powerhouse of cells and when the level of estrogen in the body goes down after menopause, it can lead to more damages to the liver and can accelerate liver aging. Make sure to ask your doctor in the free womens clinic to conduct a liver enzyme test while visiting the clinic. Elevated levels of liver enzymes may be the first sign, which indicates that there is something wrong with your liver. “For many people, liver disease is fairly silent until it gets to more advanced stages,” says Brady.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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