What Causes Menopause Brain Fog & What to Do About It

Sudden hot flashes, persistent sleep problems, or stubborn weight gain can make menopausal women feel utterly miserable. But there is another common symptom that can wreak real havoc in their daily lives: brain fog. While it can be understandably scary to experience memory problems, don’t jump to conclusions just yet. In most cases, menopausal brain fog is not a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Read on to find out what causes memory problems during the transition and what you can do to improve your cognitive function.

What Causes Menopause Brain Fog & What to Do About It

What’s Menopause Brain Fog?

Menopause brain fog is a subjective feeling of reduced mental clarity that commonly occurs during the menopausal transition. The term is used to describe a feeling of mental confusion, forgetfulness, or difficulty concentrating.

Menopause brain fog can manifest in different ways, such as:

  • Having trouble remembering names, dates, appointments, or words
  • Feeling distracted, disorganized, or overwhelmed
  • Having difficulty making decisions or solving problems
  • Losing track of time or tasks
  • Making more mistakes or errors than usual

Menopause brain fog can affect your personal, professional, and social life. It can make you feel frustrated, embarrassed, or insecure about your abilities. It can also affect your self-esteem and confidence.

Causes of Memory Problems during Menopause

The exact causes of menopause brain fog are not fully understood, but researchers believe that they are related to hormonal changes, especially the decline of estrogen.

Estrogen is a hormone that plays a key role in many aspects of female health, including brain function. It affects the growth, activity, and communication of brain cells as well as blood flow and energy metabolism in the brain. The hormone also influences mood, sleep, and stress regulation, which are all important for cognitive performance.

During the menopausal transition, estrogen levels fluctuate and eventually drop significantly. This can cause changes in the brain structure, function, and chemistry, leading to cognitive impairment.

Some studies have found that women in the early stages of menopause, especially the first year after their last menstrual period, experience more memory problems than women in later stages or before menopause. This suggests that the rapid hormonal changes may have a greater impact on the brain than the low levels of estrogen after menopause.

Other factors that can affect your memory and cognition during menopause include poor sleep quality, prolonged stress, mood issues, and lifestyle factors, such as smoking, an unhealthy diet, and high alcohol consumption, among others.

What Can I Do to Improve Memory?

The good news is that in most cases, menopause brain fog is not permanent, and there are things you can do to improve your memory and cognition during this time. Here are some tips to help you cope with menopause brain fog and boost your brain power:

Daily Habits

A healthy lifestyle can help improve your memory and cognition during menopause as well as protect your brain from aging and disease. Wholesome daily habits include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet can provide your brain with the nutrients it needs to function well and stay healthy. Focus on getting healthy fats, protein, complex carbs, micronutrients, and antioxidants from a colorful variety of whole foods. Reducing sugar intake is also highly beneficial.
  • Exercising regularly can boost your memory by promoting blood circulation, stimulating brain growth, and triggering the production of growth factors. It can also improve sleep patterns and mood, thus indirectly contributing to better cognition.
  • Quitting addictions to nicotine and alcohol is key for treating brain fog. Both substances have shown to impair memory and cognition by reducing blood flow to the brain as well as affecting brain chemistry, neurons, and neurotransmitters.
  • Managing stress is another effective way to improve memory during menopause. High cortisol levels can interfere with memory formation and retrieval and damage brain cells. Stress can also affect your mood, motivation, and self-care, which can further affect your cognitive function.
  • Getting enough sleep, which means seven to nine hours per night, for most adults. Sleep is vital for memory and cognition as it allows the brain to consolidate, store, and retrieve information as well as repair and regenerate itself.

Cognitive Support

Keeping your brain active and stimulated is a great way to reduce brain fog and boost your memory during menopause. Consider the following ideas:

  • Cognitive training is a type of mental exercise that involves practicing various tasks that challenge your memory, attention, reasoning, or problem-solving skills. There are various online programs, phone applications, puzzles, or books on the market that are designed to stimulate your brain.
  • Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves paying attention to the present moment, without judgment or distraction. Besides reducing stress and improving mood, it can also help improve memory and cognition by increasing your focus, awareness, and mental clarity.
  • Memory tools, such as writing things down on sticky notes, using associations, and creating mnemonics, can help you stay more organized with your tasks and learn new things more easily.

Hormonal Balance

The aforementioned recommendations can be greatly beneficial for improving your memory. However, to really get to the root cause of menopause brain fog, it is essential to tackle the underlying hormonal imbalance.

Naturally rich in hormone-regulating compounds, Macafem gently acts on the endocrine glands to stimulate their hormone production. By doing so, it can ease the effects of imbalanced hormones on memory and concentration and help you retain information more effectively.

As an added bonus, Macafem can also relieve other menopause symptoms that might be bothering you, like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, among others.

Menopause brain fog is common during the transition. Although it usually improves after menopause, it is always best to stay in touch with your doctor to rule out other potential causes. However, most women find that they can naturally boost their memory, optimize their cognition, and improve the quality of their life by taking care of their brain and body.

Climacteric. (2022). Brain fog in menopause: a health-care professional’s guide for decision-making and counseling on cognition. Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://www.imsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/IMS-White-Paper-2022-Brain-fog-in-menopause.pdf
Harvard Health Publishing. (2022). Menopause and brain fog: What’s the link? Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/menopause-and-brain-fog-whats-the-link
Harvard Health Publishing. (2021). Sleep, stress, or hormones? Brain fog during perimenopause. Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sleep-stress-or-hormones-brain-fog-during-perimenopause-202104092429
Journal of International Women’s Studies. (2021) Brain Fog among Perimenopausal Women: A comparative Study. Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2477&context=jiws
Mayo Clinic. (2023). Mayo Clinic Minute: Does menopause cause brain fog? Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-does-menopause-cause-brain-fog/
Menopause. (2013). Cognition and the menopausal transition: is perception reality? Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Citation/2013/12000/Cognition_and_the_menopausal_transition___is.3.aspx
Menopause. (2013). Cognition in perimenopause: the effect of transition stage. Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23615642/
Monash University. (2021). ‘Brain fog’ during menopause is real – it can disrupt women’s work, and spark dementia fears. Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://www.monash.edu/medicine/news/latest/2021-articles/brain-fog-during-menopause-is-real-it-can-disrupt-womens-work,-and-spark-dementia-fears