Research shows female brain gets even stronger in midlife years

This may be tough news for some of us of the male persuasion. Research shows women become more mentally stronger the older they get.

While women are often more communicative and insightful much of their lives, they develop a new superpower of mental acuity after their bodies reset during menopause.

According to an article at Thrive Global, a woman’s brain is reshaped for the better in its ability to create new power, achieve clarity and zero in with laser-like focus on her sense of purpose.

“Far from the old narrative about decline you’ve been sold, if you’re a woman in your forties, fifties, and beyond, your brain is about to experience a powerful shift on the cellular level — an upgrade,” wrote Dr. Louann Brizendine, the founder of UCSF Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic in San Francisco.

The female brain is wired from birth for connection and communication, she noted. However, in her post-menopausal years, those circuits forge new synaptic pathways which have nothing to do with the hormonal drives that dominates a woman’s decision-making during her reproductive years, the article explained.

That has to be a big relief for mothers as their children grow up. After experiencing “baby brain” following the birth of a child — a stage when forgetfulness is often evident — and after viewing more than 150,000 YouTube videos of Baby Shark and Wheels on the Bus, as well as settling endless sibling disputes, I’m sure a woman can feel like she’s losing her mind.

Add having to contend with adolescent angst and moodiness among her teenage children, the once-gifted communicators long for just one adult conversation that doesn’t end in an argument.

However the “upgrade” is not an overnight process. It can take decades for her new mental superpowers to fully transition, Louann explained. Noting that the post-menopausal era is often a much longer period in a woman’s life, it can bring tremendous freedom.

The transition comes with several distinct benefits, she added, including:

  • Directness — The desire and ability to speak out on just about any subject.
  • Focus — A better ability to concentrate now that the anxiety-producing stress of multitasking is over.
  • Validation — People pay closer attention to a woman not because of how she looks, but rather because of her wisdom and experience.
  • Return of fearlessness — No longer subject to a hormonal roller-coaster every month, women develop stronger conviction and a broader platform.
  • Expansiveness — When the hamster wheel of worry is disconnected, women can begin to tune out anything that disrupts the quiet.

So, women truly do get mentally stronger after midlife, which puts them in an ideal position to identify and pursue a new sense of purpose that goes beyond trying to juggle career commitments with family needs. That freedom opens the door to rekindling smoldering dreams she has held at bay for many years to focus on more “practical” issues.

Freed from the weight of other people’s opinions, women in the second half of life have the ability to truly chase their dreams, take risks and pour themselves into opportunities to have a broader impact outside of their immediate family.

To read the full article, visit

Louann also wrote a book on the subject titled The Upgrade, which is available at