Skip to content

Help, I Have Menopause Brain: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Explore what menopause brain is, my experience, why it happens, and how to manage it. Learn about symptoms, expert insights, and practical tips to maintain cognitive health during menopause.


I'm going to guess that this quote resonates with you, or as I like to say “I resemble that remark”... “Decreased multitasking abilities: Difficulty juggling multiple tasks or switching between tasks, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed.” Lisa Mosconi, The Menopause Brain.

I’ve recently read this book, one of the many in my current - learn more about menopause phase, and it’s brilliant. Way too much information to pop into one fairly short blog post, so this is a simple distilling of some info on menopause brain, with the primary intention of letting you know that, I see you, you are not going mad and you are most certainly not alone.

You walk into a room - why?
You’re writing an email - what for?
You bump into someone on the street - who?
You think you have a meeting - when?

Some of us go through variations on these every single day. It’s so frustrating. Am I going mad? Do I have dementia? Why is this happening???

Menopause is as we know a transformative period in a woman's life, often accompanied by various physical and mental changes. One very common yet often misunderstood symptom is "menopause brain," a term used to describe cognitive difficulties such as memory lapses and trouble concentrating.

On a side note, as someone who takes medication for my late diagnosed ADHD, I have also noticed (and am doing more research on) that fact that the medication is a lot less effective as my perimenopausal symptoms increase.

What is Menopause Brain?

Menopause brain refers to the cognitive changes many women experience during perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause, including memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, and mental fog. These symptoms can be unsettling and sometimes very very frightening ((Galileo) Galileo), but they are a normal part of the menopausal transition.

Why Does Menopause Brain Occur?

The cognitive changes associated with menopause are primarily due to hormonal fluctuations, particularly the decline in oestrogen levels. Oestrogen plays a vital role in brain function, influencing memory, mood, and cognition. Dr. Lisa Mosconi, PhD, a neuroscientist and author, explains, "Oestrogen is a master regulator in the female brain, impacting energy levels, mood, and cognitive functions."

Symptoms of Menopause Brain

Memory Lapses: Forgetting names, appointments, or tasks.

Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble focusing on tasks or following conversations.

Mental Fog: A general feeling of confusion or lack of mental clarity.

Reduced Multitasking Ability: Finding it harder to juggle multiple tasks at once. Although there is much debate about if anyone can actually multitask, and maybe it is instead task switching very quickly. Whatever your thoughts about this thing that most women are always really good at - we get worse at it.

How to Manage Menopause Brain

Stay Mentally Active: Engage in activities that challenge your brain, such as puzzles (I’m loving sudoku), reading, or learning a new skill. Even cooking one completely unknown dish a week, can help you. Studies show that mental stimulation can help maintain cognitive function.

Maintain a Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins can support brain health. Foods like leafy greens, fatty fish, and berries are particularly beneficial. If in doubt, think natural and full of colour, good oil and fibre. Hello, let’s all move to Sardinia.

Exercise Regularly: Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and promotes the growth of new brain cells. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, some studies show HIIT is great for our brain-derived neurotrophic factor. We are all different, so if there’s an exercise that you love and will stick with, I’m guessing that will help you more than an exercise a study says is brilliant, but you don’t enjoy and only do once a month.

Get Enough Sleep: SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP (should I say it again).Quality sleep is essential for cognitive function, at every age. Remember the nagging you did or the frustration you felt when your kids (if you have them) didn’t get the sleep you knew they needed? Now it’s really your time to make sure you get enough. Establish a regular sleep routine and create a restful, temperature regulated environment to improve sleep quality.

Manage Stress: Chronic stress can exacerbate cognitive symptoms. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. You can read about more mindfulness practices in some other posts we’ve done to help.

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can impair cognitive function, yes, it’s true! I didn’t really believe it, till I actually monitored the amount of water I was drinking. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Tea and coffee don’t count, sorry. Although some herbal teas can be brilliant at helping you with many things during the day from concentration to sleeping.

Consider Supplements: Certain supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and B vitamins, may support cognitive health. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

Last week's post Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms: Your Comprehensive Guide had some other info that will also help you.

Healthy Menopausal Woman

It’s real!!! Research published in the journal *Neurology* indicates that women undergoing menopause may experience a temporary decline in cognitive abilities, particularly in verbal memory and processing speed. However, these changes are usually transient and improve postmenopause. Dr. Mosconi also notes, "It's crucial to support the brain during this time through lifestyle changes and possibly medical interventions if necessary."

Menopause brain can be challenging, but understanding its causes and implementing effective management strategies can make a significant difference. By staying mentally active, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and managing stress, you can enhance your cognitive function and navigate menopause a wee bit better.


Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options