The decision to have an abortion is a deeply personal one, and the experience can be both emotionally and physically demanding. While the abortion procedure itself is safe and effective, it is also important to prioritise both physical recovery and emotional well-being in the following days and weeks . Read on to understand what an abortion entails, why post-abortion care is crucial for a successful recovery, and how a Singapore abortion clinic can assist with the process.
Understanding the Procedure
Abortion is a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy before a foetus reaches 24 weeks of gestation (before the foetus reaches a stage of viability). There are two main types of abortion methods: medical abortion and surgical abortion.
Medical abortion involves taking medication to terminate the pregnancy. It is one of the safest methods available to end a pregnancy up to 9 weeks of gestation. This can be done as soon as pregnancy is detected and under the medical advice and supervision of a qualified gynaecologist at a Singapore abortion centre.
Surgical abortion involves a minor procedure called suction and aspiration (vacuum aspiration) and is performed by a registered healthcare provider. However, this method is only recommended for pregnancies between 9 and 12 weeks in gestation. A specialist will recommend a combination of medical and surgical methods if the pregnancy is 12 weeks or more.
Both are performed as day procedures and generally do not require hospitalisation when performed during the first trimester. In the rare instance where a medical practitioner deems it necessary to monitor a patient closely, the patient will be required to stay overnight at a Singapore abortion clinic. However, if the gestation period has exceeded 12 weeks, the procedure may be more complicated and will necessitate prolonged hospitalisation.
Importance of Post-Abortion Care
Regardless of the type, post-abortion care is crucial for ensuring the physical and emotional health of the patient. Medical practitioners recommend a 5-step abortion care plan for the optimal benefit of the patients.
- Monitoring for any physical complications: This includes checking for excessive bleeding, infection, or signs of an incomplete abortion.
- Offering emotional support and counselling: Pre- and post-counselling sessions are mandatory steps for an abortion in Singapore . All MOH-registered Singapore abortion clinics have access to qualified and registered counsellors, and all patients will be referred to a counsellor before they undergo an abortion procedure. This helps individuals process their feelings of guilt and desolation and cope with any emotional challenges that may arise. If the patient under consideration is unmarried or below the age of 16, they must be referred for counselling at the Health Promotion Board Counselling Centre.
- Addressing specific contraceptive needs: This may include providing birth control options, discussing future reproductive plans, or offering referrals for additional resources.
- Providing other reproductive health services: This may include STD (sexually transmitted diseases) screening and gynaecological cancer screening.
- Providing access to community support groups
Physical Recovery After an Abortion
The physical recovery process after an abortion varies from person to person. Some of the common symptoms experienced by patients after a Singapore abortion are:
Bleeding and cramping: You may experience bleeding and cramping similar to a menstrual period. This typically lasts for a few days to a week. However if you experience excessive bleeding, which is continuous and heavy bleeding that soaks 2 or more maxi-size pads in an hour, rush yourself to the emergency room for immediate care.
Breast tenderness: Hormonal changes may make your breasts feel swollen and tender.
Fatigue: It is normal to feel tired after an abortion. Take it easy and allow your body time to rest.
Managing Physical Symptoms
There are several things you can do to manage your physical symptoms and promote healing:
Rest: Get plenty of rest in the days following your abortion. Avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting.
Diet: Eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This will help your body recover and replenish nutrients.
Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Pain management: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage discomfort and cramping. Speak to your healthcare provider about any pain management drugs they may prescribe.
Heat therapy: Applying a heating pad to your abdomen or lower back can help relieve cramps.
Follow-up appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider. This is important for monitoring your recovery and will help address any concerns.
Emotional Healing and Psychological Well-Being
The emotional impact of an abortion can vary greatly from person to person. Some of the most common emotions experienced by patients who have undergone abortion include grief, guilt, relief, anger, sadness, and confusion. It is absolutely important to allow yourself to feel your emotions and acknowledge that they are valid.
Some of the recommended methods of managing emotional responses are as follows:
Talk to someone you trust: Talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or counsellor can provide emotional support and help you process your feelings.
Join a support group: Connecting with others who have had similar experiences can be a source of comfort and help you feel less alone.
Practice self-care: Engage in activities that you find relaxing and enjoyable, such as spending time in nature, listening to music, or reading a book.
Be patient with yourself: Healing takes time. Be patient with yourself, and don’t rush the process.
Self-Care and Self-Compassion
Self-care practices are essential for both physical and emotional healing. Make sure to get enough sleep, aiming for 7-8 hours of shut-eye each night, eat a healthy diet, and engage in moderate exercise regularly. Exercise can help improve your mood and energy levels.
Other beneficial activities may include practising relaxation techniques—activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety—and, most importantly, make sure to avoid negative self-talk.
Holistic Post-Abortion Care at Seng’s OG Practice — Singapore Abortion Clinic
Post-abortion care is not just about physical recovery but about holistic healing. From the time of finding out about the unwanted pregnancy until the decision to abort, a patient goes through a range of spiralling emotions from moral and ethical considerations to societal stigma. When it comes to abortion, there is no right or wrong answer, and the decision should be made by the woman involved, based on her circumstances. At Seng’s OG Practice, we take a holistic and empathetic approach to patient care. We ensure that your emotions are acknowledged and that you receive comprehensive pre- and post-abortion care at our Singapore abortion clinic. Call us; our specialists are here to help.