Journal / Menopause

You are Royal

7 May, 2023

In honour of a certain event taking place in the UK this weekend, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to crown each and every one of you as royal and magnificent! And to celebrate the research that the media often doesn’t talk to or depict when covering midlife and menopause.  

7 May, 2023

1. What happens to our brains in menopause? 

Oestrogenic decline has an impact on brains because we need it as a hormone for brain glucose metabolism. It’s why so many of us struggle with cognitive function; whether it’s memory, ‘mental sharpness’, brain fog or brain fuzziness. Lisa Misconi writes:

When oestrogen doesn't activate the hypothalamus correctly, the brain cannot regulate body temperature correctly. So those hot flashes that women get - that's the hypothalamus. Then there's the brainstem in charge of sleep and wake. When oestrogen doesn't activate the brainstem correctly, we have trouble sleeping. Or it's the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain close to the hippocampus, the memory centre of the brain. When oestrogen's levels ebb in these regions, we start getting mood swings perhaps and forget things.”

Source: Mosconi, L. et al. (2021). Menopause Impacts Human Brain Structure, Connectivity, Energy Metabolism, and Amyloid-Beta Deposition. Scientific Reports. 

But what we often don’t recognise is the brilliance of our biology in adjusting, with grey matter relating to memory and cognitive processing returning to the same level post-menopause. Interestingly, researchers report that not only do our brains match male brains of the same age, over the next 2 years our cognitive function improves further (Note to self: it’s not a competition. But it is ;)). 

2. Our confidence levels in menopause.

There are times at this life stage when we may feel our bodies and minds are betraying us. And, research by the UK Think Tank Gen-M last year reported that 40% of us lose our confidence during menopause. Too many of us leave the workplace, convinced we’re no longer able to perform optimally. Yet, all the evidence points to a resurgence in confidence as we transition into Part 2. From finding our purpose to finding our voice, we know what we want from the world. And what we have to give. Research shows that entrepreneurs in their 50s and over are twice as likely to be successful as those in their 20s. In addition, women in particular appear to excel in midlife because the world so often ignores our needs (and our influence).

Now is our time to act. And if you ever need a reference point to the vibrancy and beauty and productivity, look no further than the wonderful phenomenal women journal series we’ve curated over the last 2 years. Packed full of nuggets and wisdom. Grab your plate of coronation chicken, a cup of tea - and have a browse HERE!

3. Our collective wisdom and generosity of spirit.

I can say this with some authority. You all rock. As a researcher, one of the things that surprised me most when I first started looking to learn more about people’s experiences of menopause, was how much others wanted to share and help. From people in the middle of perimenopause, working out what worked for them - to women postmenopause with buckets of wisdom. As critically, those further along their menopause journey were always at pains to tell me; ‘it does get better’. It’s that spirit; of resilience, of liberation, of lending a hand, of respecting each individual route through, that has shaped what this community of 20k+ individuals is today. So thank you. You are queens. Each and every one of you.

With love, Rebekah & The MPowder Team

Share Twitter Facebook Pinterest