Menopausal women have long complained about lapses in memory. Experience and anecdotes are never enough for the people in the white lab coats, and at long last, “official” verification is here. A new study published in the medical journal Menopause confirms that while overall cognitive performance can rank at normal levels, memory function does not.
Recent headlines sum up what women already knew:
“Foggy Brain Confirmed in Tests”
“Study Reveals that Women Can Experience Memory Loss During Menopause”
“Women with Menopausal Symptoms Have Difficulty Focusing”
“Menopause Brain Fog: It’s For Real“
Menopausal brain drain is a true mental challenge that goes deeper than simply forgetting where you put your keys. It’s stumbling over basic math to add a waiter’s tip, or making the right comment at the right time at a staff meeting. It can make you feel downright crazy.
The study also revealed connections between memory loss, mood and the severity of menopause symptoms. And, while problems with memory generally end post-menopause, other symptoms like hot flashes, vagina dryness and insomnia can last for more than a decade. Tips for dealing with a poopy memory are fairly predictable. Write more lists. Call yourself and leave reminders on your voicemail.
The good news may be that no one can ever tell you that it’s all in your imagination. Miriam Weber, Ph.D., one of the study’s researchers, put it this way: “If a woman approaching menopause feels she is having memory problems, no one should brush it off or attribute it a jam-packed schedule.”