Between the ages of 45 and 55, women begin going through menopause, which MedlinePlus points out may continue for five or more years. During menopause, the woman's body produces less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone and her ovaries no longer produce any eggs. Some women going through menopause stop getting their menstruation suddenly, while for others, it may take one to three years, in which they have irregular menstrual flows. Women going through menopause may have skin flushing, hot flashes and night sweats. Other common symptoms include insomnia and a racing heartbeat.
Some menopausal women report that they have problems with their memory during this time. Epigee notes that short-term memory loss may also occur. For example, some women may become forgetful or have difficulty concentrating. However, some memory studies on menopausal women have shown that memory loss may not occur. The changes in the estrogen levels may contribute to these memory problems. To treat this possible cause of memory loss, some women undergo hormone therapy.
Doctors have used hormone therapy to treat the symptoms of menopause, though MedlinePlus notes that hormone therapy does carry some risks, such as a higher risk of developing blood clots, breast cancer, stroke and heart attack. In a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, the researchers looked at the effects of hormones on memory after four weeks of treatment. Reuters Health reports that the study included 200 women who were between the ages of 50 and 65; these women received either estrogen pills, testosterone pills or placebo pills. After taking the hormones or placebo pills for four weeks, the participants underwent memory and thinking tests.
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