Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

How a Woman Can Maintain Midlife Memory

Although women can experience memory problems during the period leading up to menopause, there are some practical steps they can take to help keep their memory strong.
WebMD Health News

Aug. 29, 2000 -- Although women can experience changes in their thinking and memory during the period leading up to menopause, and menopause itself, if you're a midlife woman and you keep losing your keys, don't assume that estrogen is necessarily going to restore your memory. Outside of that, there are some practical steps women can take to help keep their memory strong.

Memory and thinking ability are not solely related to hormonal changes. In fact, women's perceptions about memory function during those times of life are more closely related to their health status, mental outlook, and stress level than hormonal changes, according to a report in the July/August issue of the journal Menopause.

"Memory is more of a problem for women in the early and middle stages of menopause than for postmenopausal women," study author Nancy Fugate Woods, PhD, RN, tells WebMD. "This suggests that it's a minor change or that women learn to cope and become less anxious about it." Woods is the dean of nursing at the University of Washington in Seattle

Perimenopause is a time of transition that can start up to 10 years before menopause, which is simply the time when a woman stops having periods. There are hormonal changes during the perimenopause, and many of the changes have effects that are not yet fully understood or appreciated. In many women, there may be problems with stress, depression, and aging that occur at the same time, and it is difficult to determine which factors account for which problems.

Interest in the issue has heated up as huge numbers of baby boomers have entered midlife. It's believed that women become more forgetful as they approach and pass through menopause, yet memory changes throughout the perimenopause, or transition, haven't been fully investigated.

To explore the effects of this time of life further, the researchers surveyed over 200 women with an average age of about 47. Based on their hormonal and menstrual status, participants were divided into study groups: menopausal (early, middle, or late), postmenopausal, and hormone replacement users. Age was not related to any memory function scales on the questionnaire except for retrospective memory.

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror