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The Abortion Procedure

By law, abortion procedures in Singapore are legal, provided that the pregnancy does not exceed 24 weeks. Terminating pregnancies after 24 weeks is prohibited, unless such procedures are necessary to preserve the health or life of the mother.

Methods used to induce abortion vary depending on the stage of pregnancy. The further along the pregnancy, the higher the risk of complications, and the more complex the procedure will be. Therefore it is highly recommended to make a decision as early as possible.

Pregnancy Stages

Below 9 Weeks

For pregnancies below 9 weeks, abortions are conducted through a simple vacuum aspiration. Compared to later-term abortions, early abortions done during the first trimester are relatively painless, quick, and have a shorter recovery period. Complications are rare and the procedure itself usually takes just about 15 minutes.

10 - 15 Weeks

The procedure is quite similar to that of an early simple abortion. However, a preparatory phase is required. It is usually done 1 or 2 days before the actual abortion procedure. In the preparatory phase, medicine will be inserted into the vagina to make the abortion safer for the patient.

More Than 15 Weeks

This procedure is much more complex than a simple early-stage abortion. It also requires more than one visit to the abortion doctor. However, at our clinic, you will not be required to be hospitalized.

Listed below are the 4 stages for an abortion this late into the pregnancy:

Stage 1: Preparatory Phase

During a second-trimester abortion, medicine is first administered vaginally to prepare the cervix for the expulsion of the foetus. The process is done in-clinic and takes only 5 minutes. The patient may go home afterwards and come back after 2 days.

Stage 2: Delivery of the Foetus

On the day of the actual procedure, which is usually 2 days following the initial visit, patients are advised not to eat or drink. During this visit, medication is again administered to soften the uterus and dilate the cervix, thus inducing labor. The time taken for delivery will depend on the strength and duration of the contractions.

Stage 3: Delivery of the Placenta

To ensure complete evacuation of the womb and prevent complications such as infections and heavy bleeding, the remaining tissues, including the placenta and uterine lining, are surgically removed through a process known as dilation and curettage (D&C). The doctor uses a curette to gently scrape off and suction out remaining tissues. The process takes less than 20 minutes and is done while the patient is sedated, so it is painless.

Stage 4: Prevention of Bleeding

Moderate bleeding and cramping a couple of weeks following the abortion process is normal. The patient may be given antibiotics and painkillers to prevent infections and reduce pain.

Post-Procedural Care

To facilitate faster healing and prevent complications, patients are advised to avoid heavy lifting, aerobic exercises, and sexual activities for 2 weeks after the procedure. This includes inserting anything into the vagina such as tampons and douches. Swimming and hot baths must be avoided. Smoking, drinking and taking drugs are also not allowed.

Moderate bleeding accompanied with cramps are normal, and can be managed with painkillers. Blood-thinning medications such as aspirin should be avoided as they can increase bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infections.

Menstrual cycles should begin 3 to 6 weeks after the procedure, unless the patient is taking birth control pills or using an IUD.

Additionally, a post-abortion check-up will be scheduled 2 to 3 weeks following the abortion, to ensure that everything is clear and healing as it should.

A strong advocate for women’s health and wellbeing, Dr Jen Shek Wei is an accredited provider of abortion services in Singapore and strives to make the process as smooth and supportive as possible. For more information on the abortion procedure and eligibility, please reach us at +65 6459 2833 today.

Dr Jen Shek Wei Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

MBBS (Singapore), MMed (O&G) (Singapore), FRCOG (London), FAM (Singapore)

I am an obstetrician and gynaecologist with over 30 years’ experience in Singapore and the United Kingdom, dedicated to improving women’s reproductive health and wellbeing. From preventive care to medical and surgical treatments, I handle them all within my clinic. As a supporter of reproductive choice, I also provide abortion in Singapore that is safe, effective and confidential. At our accredited abortion clinic, patients can expect a smooth and informed process along with attentive follow-up care. Whatever the purpose of visit, I will be happy to serve you to the best of my ability.

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