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The Knowledge of Menopause and its Treatment among Orang Asli in Gombak

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Mohamad Diah Department of Sociology and Anthropology, KIRKHS, International Islamic University Malaysia, MALAYSIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 2, Issue (8), Pages 1-4, August,14 (2013)


Menopause is a time of life where women make the transition from a reproductive stage to a non-reproductive stage. Although it is biologically universal, menopausal experiences are not homogeneous in nature and there have been significant differences reported by women within and across cultures. The objective of this study is two-fold: to investigate the prevalence of menopausal symptoms among Orang Asli and to identify ways how they treat their menopausal symptoms. This is an exploratory study conducted among Orang Asli women at Batu 12, Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A group of twenty Orang Asli menopausal women between the ages of 50-56 participated in this study. These women were from different clans - Semai, Temiar, Temuan and Semelai. The respondents were chosen using the snowball sampling due to the sensitivity of the topic. Unstructured interviews and participant observations were used to assess their understanding about menopausal symptoms and how the symptoms are being treated. Data analysis was performed using the qualitative process. Analysis reveals that Orang Asli women viewed menopause as a positive and natural biological change. Knowledge about menopause is obtained from friends and siblings who are already in their menopausal stage. Decrease in sexual feeling is a common menopausal symptom followed by muscle aches, joint pains, sleeplessness and more trouble remembering things. Very little is known about the knowledge and use of medicinal plants in treating menopausal symptoms among these Orang Asli women. However, among the common plants used to treat their menopausal symptoms are pucuk sendap, kacip Fatimah, bunga pakma, tongkat Ali and cendawan hutan. These plants are easily found in their backyards. They expressed strong belief in the effectiveness of these plants to help alleviate their menopausal symptoms. Briefly, menopausal symptoms among Orang Asli women are common and are apparently untreated through biomedical intervention.


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