The human body is subject to constant change. Women especially go through puberty, monthly menstrual cycles, PMS, period cramps, pregnancy, and childbirth. All these physical and psychological changes are scary, but most women adapt to them. Finally, when life is a little stable, menopause hits like a curve ball. Menopause causes a significant transition in the body, and it may temporarily wreck your routine and well-being. However, one must remember that it is a natural process, not an illness.
Menopause is a biological process that every menstruating woman goes through in their late 40s and early 50s. The ovaries stop ovulating, and the hormonal fluctuations create havoc. Technically, menopause means having no menstrual period for one full year after the last day of menstruation. In simple terms, menopause is the end of the fertile period in a woman’s life.
Menopause is described as “the change of life,” while peri-menopause is the pathway leading up to that change.
During peri-menopause, hormones change gears, and the menstrual cycle starts declining. Women experience missed periods, late periods, and heavy and irregular period flows till the periods cease completely.
Menopause causes significant changes in women’s bodies as the production of estragon and progesterone in ovaries drops. Each woman may experience different symptoms with varying intensities, depending on overall health, weight, age, and lifestyle. Some of the most common physical and psychological symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, vaginal dryness, low libido, thinning of hair, fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, depression, memory lapses, etc.
As women approach menopause, their memory gets treacherous. Hormonal balance is crucial in regulating mental health, and any hormone disruption caused by menopause effectuates forgetfulness and cognitive dysfunctionality. Many women face memory lapses, brain fog, and difficulty assimilating, comprehending, and learning new information.
The wildly oscillating hormones during menopause create a hormonal imbalance leading to a decline in cognitive abilities.
The brain’s pituitary gland controls an egg’s release each month. As women grow older and less fit to bear a child, the hormones produced by the pituitary gland decline, and the ovulation process slows down.
It leads to a decline in the production of estrogen levels by ovaries, as it is no longer needed for reproduction. Estrogen helps the brain function better, aids verbal fluency and working memory, improves attention, and helps information processing. Our brain and nervous system are configured with estrogen receptors that react to hormonal fluctuations. Thus, when estrogen levels drop, it hampers the neurotransmitter levels leading to forgetfulness, absentmindedness, distraction, and mood swings.
Due to reduced levels of estrogen and progesterone, most women suffer from hot flashes, night sweats, and erratic sleeping patterns. A bad night’s sleep leaves you tired, irritable, and groggy, hindering your focus and recall ability the next day.
Personal and professional stress, compounded with the physical and psychological changes during menopause, adversely affects thinking ability, reduces concentration, and weakens memory.
As stated above, menopausal symptoms cause much distress and agony. Although it is not a disease, it can be treated through medications and clinical treatments or managed by integrative therapy and lifestyle changes. The best way to survive the menopause transition is to talk comprehensively with a doctor and choose the most suitable and safe option.
Menopausal women can opt for conventional medicines if memory loss due to menopause is severe. It is essential to weigh the benefits and side effects caused by prescription medications before opting for them.
Cholinesterase inhibitors: The health care provider can prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors to treat forgetfulness during menopause. This drug helps stabilize the brain’s cognitive function, strengthening recall and thinking ability.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT): MHT is a preferred choice to battle symptoms of menopause. MHT creates a hormonal balance by administering deficient hormones. Low-dose estrogen, progesterone, or a combination of the two, is administered to prevent memory impairment.
Initiating MHT in the peri-menopause stage is more effective. On the contrary undergoing MHT in the later stages of menopause may have ill effects on the brain and health.
MHT is administered through pills, skin patches, or creams. The doctor devises a tailored MHT plan for each woman specifying the effective route and timing of administration, hormonal formula, dosage, and duration.
Cardiovascular diseases, breast and ovarian cancer, and blood clots are some risks related to MHT.
Women’s hormonal and bodily changes during menopause can negatively affect their psychology. Menopausal women experiencing memory lapses may feel perplexed, anxious, and depressed. In such cases, women may benefit from psychotherapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Menopausal women may undergo occupational therapy to recuperate from the troubles of the menopausal transition. OT provides mental health assistance. Therapists devise cognitive strategies to help women deal with pain, regulate emotions, and improve their memory.
Integrative therapy has a holistic approach to a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Menopausal symptoms like bodily discomforts and cognitive disorders are cured with the help of treatments like Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy, yoga, and meditation. It also addresses other issues like sleep concerns, sexual challenges, anxiety, and physical problems related to menopause.
Some lifestyle changes during the menopausal period can recuperate your physical and mental health.
Menopause is daunting but an inevitable phase for every woman. Each woman has an individualized experience and has to manage it singularly. So, it is essential to know and track your symptoms and discuss them with the gynaecologist.
It can be frustrating and torturous for those who go through memory loss due to menopause. But, as the body rebalances and stabilizes the disrupted hormonal levels, the symptoms of menopause die down slowly, making you feel better than ever.
Our department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology offers specialized services for pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hormones, contraception, infertility, and the diagnosis of female reproductive organs. Menopause in women isn’t fatal but brings along specific dreadful symptoms and risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases post-menopause.
At 7DMC, we have a complete menopause management clinical program that can help you through peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Our experienced and trustworthy doctors guide women to maintain the quality of their life and be at their healthiest all through the menopausal transition.