Abortion is the willful termination of pregnancy. There are many reasons why women choose to have an abortion, which include which include unplanned pregnancies, relationship problems, life-threatening or serious medical conditions, and pressure from family and peers. Whatever the reason, the decision is purely personal, but by no means less difficult or emotional to make.
Knowing the right facts about abortion can help you make an educated decision that is beneficial for your overall well-being. Here are 7 things you need to know about abortion:
(1) The Singapore Abortion Act requires women to undergo pre-abortion counselling at an accredited abortion clinic.
In Singapore, abortion is legal and should be done within 24 weeks of pregnancy. A woman has to undergo a 48-hour cooling off period after attending the mandatory counselling, before the procedure can be done.
(2) There are three types of abortion, depending on how advanced the pregnancy is.
Less than 10 weeks: Conducted under anaesthesia, it will be a quick and painless procedure done through vacuum aspiration, whereby the contents of the uterus are suctioned out using a handheld syringe or electric pump.
10 to 12 weeks: Abortions conducted at this stage require two stages: on the first day, a medicine will be inserted into the vagina to make the abortion safer. On the second day, the abortion itself will then be conducted via vacuum aspiration under anaesthesia.
More than 13 weeks: Abortions conducted at this stage are more complicated and involves the actual delivery of the foetus.
- Phase 1: The preparation of the cervix
- Phase 2: The actual delivery of the foetus
- Phase 3: The delivery of the placenta via D&C (Dilation & Curettage)
- Phase 4: The prevention of bleeding, lactation and recovery
(3) Why can’t I just take an abortion pill?
You can, but it means suffering a spontaneous miscarriage which can be much more stressful, and also much more painful than the simple surgical procedure. It is also not guaranteed to work, and often leads to an incomplete miscarriage, when complications are much more damaging.
There can also be hidden and life-threatening conditions like ectopic pregnancies (where the embryo attaches itself outside the uterus) which can complicate such self-induced, medicated abortions.
(4) The chances of dying from an abortion are extremely slim.
The procedure is low-risk and complications are scarce. In fact, it is said that the risk of death from abortion is significantly lower than dying from giving birth. Death from abortion is rare with a low probability of 1:100,000, though this increases slightly as the pregnancy progresses.
(5) Abortion does not cause breast cancer.
Through the years, case-control and cohort clinical studies have been conducted to determine whether there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. Findings from these studies, plus a convention among field experts in the National Cancer Institute, have all concluded that there is none. Age and hormonal factors play a bigger part in increasing one’s risk of developing breast cancer.
(6) Proper abortion methods do not affect a woman’s future fertility.
As long as the procedure is done in a safe and regulated environment and supervised by a trained professional, there’s no reason or proof that having a past abortion can negatively affect a woman’s chance of getting pregnant in the future. This is also true for her chances of having a miscarriage or pregnancy complications. Under these conditions, the risk of damaging the uterus or cervix during medical or surgical abortions is very low.
(7) In Singapore, abortion for pregnancies of more than 24 weeks is strictly prohibited.
Unless the pregnancy puts the woman’s life or health at risk, or if the foetus is found to have a life-threatening illness or severe abnormality, undergoing abortion after 24-weeks of gestation is not permitted. Late-term abortions and miscarriages employ a technique called intact D&X (dilation and extraction). Here, the fetus is extracted intact from the womb to avoid injuring the cervix and uterus.
Knowing the right information about abortion and having the right care and support can help you make a well-informed decision for your overall health and safety. Specializing in the fields of women’s health and family planning, Singapore abortion surgeon Jen Shek Wei can guide you through our offered abortion services that will be most suitable for your situation. To schedule a private consultation, call 6459-2833.