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14 Signs of “Menopause Brain” And What to Do About It

If you think pregnancy brain is the last time you’ll have to deal with brain fog, here is some heartbreaking news: menopause brain is finishing its pushups. “Menopause Brain” is a term used to describe the cognitive changes that many women experience during menopause. The National Council of Aging says these changes happen because of a mix of exhaustion, stress, and the hormonal fluctuations of menopause.

While they are expected, these changes can be both frustrating and concerning. Studies show that aging decreases estradiol, a key brain estrogen. This reduction impacts memory performance and the brain circuits that regulate memory.

The good news is that understanding the symptoms and strategies to manage them can make a significant difference. Do not despair or fear aging if you’re experiencing these signs of menopause brain. The tips offered will also help keep your brain sharp and healthy during menopause.

Note: Always talk to your doctor about concerns with menopause and brian fog.

1. Difficulty Concentrating

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Does it take you seven business days to write a simple essay that you could previously write in your sleep? One of the most common symptoms of “Menopause Brain” is difficulty concentrating. You may find it challenging to stay focused on tasks, even those that require minimal mental effort.

To manage this symptom, consider breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable segments. Use tools such as to-do lists or AI and set specific goals for each session. Minimize distractions in your environment to help improve your focus, such as turning off the TV and not checking social media notifications. Create a clutter-free working environment; you can’t work if you’re sitting on top of a mountain of unfolded laundry from last week.

2. Forgetfulness

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Are you always asking people to call your phone to find it (even though sometimes it’s in your hand)? Or maybe you stand at the stairs and don’t remember if you were going up or down? Forgetfulness is another prevalent symptom of the “Menopause Brain.” Struggling to recall names, dates, or important events can be particularly frustrating in both personal and professional settings.

Establish routines and use memory aids to deal with this forgetfulness. Keeping a daily planner or setting reminders on your phone can help you stay organized. Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids can support brain health.

3. Inability to Multitask

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Multitasking is our superpower, but many women notice a reduced ability to multitask during menopause. Tasks that once seemed easy to juggle simultaneously may now feel overwhelming or result in frequent errors. This shift can affect productivity and lead to increased frustration.

Prioritize tasks and focus on completing one activity at a time to bring your inner multitasking superwoman back, especially since multitasking isn’t all it’s chalked up to be. Practice mindfulness techniques to stay present and fully engage with each task before moving on to the next. Delegating responsibilities when possible and asking for help can also alleviate the pressure to multitask, allowing you to concentrate more effectively.

4. Trouble with Problem-Solving

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Problem-solving can become more challenging during menopause. Activities that require analytical thinking or quick decision-making may take longer or become more difficult to navigate. This can impact various aspects of life, from work to daily household management.

To enhance problem-solving skills, engage in regular brain exercises such as puzzles, strategy games, or learning new skills. Continuous learning stimulates the brain and helps maintain cognitive flexibility.

5. Word-Finding Problems

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You want to finish narrating that story, but try as you may, you can’t recall the word that refers to that flightless bird that lives in the Arctic.  Word-finding problems, or “tip-of-the-tongue” moments, are common during menopause. You might struggle to recall specific words or names during conversations.

You may want to practice language and vocabulary exercises. Reading regularly, engaging in word games, and expanding your vocabulary through new learning experiences can help keep your language skills sharp. If you find yourself stuck during a conversation, take a deep breath and give yourself a moment; the word often comes back with a bit of patience.

6. Losing Train of Thought

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You start explaining the recipe to your granddaughter, and midway, you lose track of what meal you are talking about. Losing your train of thought is another frustrating sign of menopause brain fog. You may find yourself mid-sentence or mid-task and forget what you were saying or doing, leading to moments of confusion and awkward pauses.

To help regain your train of thought, practice active listening and mindfulness. Engage fully with your current task or conversation, and avoid distractions like multitasking or background noise. If you lose track, don’t panic—pause, take a breath, and gently guide yourself back to the topic. Feel free to ask, “What were we talking about?” Oh yes, Meatloaf!

7. Decreased Mental Sharpness

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Youth is a fantastic time when we enjoy mental sharpness and don’t feel like our brains are in Australia during spider season. A general sense of decreased mental sharpness is common during menopause. Tasks that once required minimal effort may now seem daunting, and you might feel like you’re not as mentally agile as you used to be.

To fight this, engage in regular mental exercises that challenge your brain. Activities like learning a new language, playing musical instruments, or solving complex puzzles can help maintain and even improve your cognitive functions.

8. Difficulty with Planning and Organizing

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You were once the family project manager, ensuring everyone was where they were supposed to be and they had everything they needed. Menopause has come, and you now find it harder to plan and organize your activities. Whether it’s planning an event, organizing your schedule, or simply keeping track of daily tasks, these activities may become more challenging.

To improve planning and organizing skills, use tools such as calendars, apps, and planners to keep track of your responsibilities. Breaking tasks into smaller, actionable steps can make larger projects more manageable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, too.

9. Reduced Ability to Learn New Information

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You’d read a whole book and remember everything, and now you can barely remember your seat number after looking at your plane ticket five times. Learning new information can become more difficult during menopause. You may find that it takes longer to grasp new concepts or recall recently learned facts.

To enhance learning, incorporate repetition and multiple forms of engagement—such as reading, writing, and discussing—to reinforce new information. Ensure you’re rested to help your brain stay sharp enough to recall information.

10. Increased Mental Fatigue

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You might experience increased mental fatigue during menopause, making it harder to stay alert and engaged throughout the day. This can result in a need for more breaks and an overall sense of brain fatigue.

To reduce mental fatigue, ensure you get adequate rest and engage in regular physical activity, which can boost overall energy levels. Also, practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation or yoga to maintain mental stamina. Get enough sleep to keep your brain rested.

11. Difficulty Following Conversations

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Struggling to follow conversations, especially in group settings, is another sign of brain fog during menopause. Sometimes, you doze off in the middle of a conversation. This can make social interactions feel overwhelming and exhausting.

To improve this, actively practice good listening skills by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and summarizing points back to the speaker. Limiting background noise and participating in smaller group conversations can make it easier to follow along.

12. Impaired Visual and Spatial Skills

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Menopause can sometimes lead to changes in visual and spatial skills, such as difficulty judging distances or navigating familiar routes. Familiar routes may suddenly seem unfamiliar, leading to feelings of confusion and disorientation.

To improve visual and spatial skills, try engaging in activities that require hand-eye coordination, such as painting or playing sports. Practice mindfulness while navigating new routes or driving by paying attention to landmarks and using GPS if needed. Reduce alcohol intake to keep your brain sharp and focused.

13. Impaired Decision-Making

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Should you wear the white or black sneakers? Should you relocate now that you’re retired? Making big or small decisions can become more daunting during menopause. You may feel indecisive, anxious about making the wrong choice, or overwhelmed by too many options.

Break down decisions into smaller, manageable components and evaluate the pros and cons of each option. Seeking input from trusted friends or family can provide additional perspectives that may help clarify your choices.

14. Reduced Attention Span

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A reduced attention span is a common experience during menopause, where focusing on a single task for an extended period becomes increasingly difficult. This can impact productivity and the ability to complete tasks efficiently. You used to binge on whole Netflix seasons, but now even a 30-minute episode feels like an eternity.

Try practicing focused attention exercises, such as meditation, which trains the brain to concentrate for longer periods. Setting specific work intervals with short breaks in between can also help maintain focus. Limiting distractions, such as turning off notifications and creating a quiet workspace, can further aid in concentrating on the task at hand.


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