Brain fog or temporary memory problems are a common occurrence for women during menopause due to hormonal changes – specifically estrogen depletion due to aging ovaries – which take place in the body. However, as memory tends to decline with age, and menopause is an age-related condition, it can be difficult to say if memory loss is actually caused by menopause. Several studies on the effect of estrogen on memory support the notion that memory loss during menopause is caused by a lack of this hormone. The good news is that studies also show that memory improves after menopause.
The 2004 Penn Ovarian Aging Study confirms the finding that hormone changes which occur during perimenopause often cause a decline in verbal memory. The study found that these effects are separate from the natural effects of aging. Many current studies on the relationship between memory loss and menopause are based on the findings from this study.
Another four-year study called Evidence for Cognitive Aging in Midlife Women: Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation found that women had trouble learning during perimenopause, but once menopause was completed, they returned to the learning levels demonstrated before perimenopause.
Reduced memory and thinking skills in women during perimenopause and menopause were also identified in a review published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In this review, women also reported problems with concentration and forgetfulness during menopause.
What Causes Menopause Memory Loss?
When the ovaries are no longer producing eggs and the menstrual cycle stops, the body responds by reducing the amount of estrogen produced, since it is no longer needed for reproduction. Evidently, this hormonal depletion can also trigger memory issues. Changes in your estrogen levels affect other parts of our bodies as well, such as:
- Your bladder
- Your blood vessels
- Your bones
- Your brain
- Your breast tissue
- Your skin
- Your urethra
Tips to Battle Memory Loss During Menopause
What can we do to battle the memory loss associated with menopause and the aging process? There is no fountain of youth or “cure” for menopause, but there are ways to deal with its effects and increase your quality of life as you go through it. Some steps you can take to make menopause easier to deal with include:
- Ginko Biloba
- Healthy eating
- Hormone Therapy
- Mind Games
- Red Wine
- Reduce Stress
- Sleep More
- Stay Active
- Stay Cool
The staff at Colorado Obstetrics and Women’s Health provides personalized, comprehensive health care for Colorado Springs women in all phases of life. Give us a call today at (719) 634-8800 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you.