For women in their first trimester of pregnancy, a medical abortion provides an alternative to surgical abortion. Medical abortion is a low-risk, non-invasive method of ending a pregnancy and is nearly 100% successful at terminating an unwanted pregnancy. Around 2% to 5% of women who have a medical abortion will require additional treatment to complete the abortion. Medical abortion in Singapore involves the use of two drugs, mifepristone, and misoprostol, to terminate a pregnancy. Read on to find out more about the procedure, aftercare, and how to select a government-approved abortion clinic in Singapore.
Medical Abortion in Singapore: The Procedure
A medical abortion uses medication to end a pregnancy and does not involve anesthesia or surgery. It is one of the safest methods available to end your pregnancy up to 9 weeks of gestation and can be done as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
What To Expect Before, During, and After a Medical Abortion?
Your healthcare provider will carry out blood and urine tests and an ultrasound scan to confirm you are pregnant and to determine how far you are in your pregnancy. The clinic will also evaluate your medical history and overall health before an abortion procedure.
The process generally involves taking two medically prescribed drugs, mifepristone, and misoprostol, within a 48-hour time period. Mifepristone functions by inhibiting progesterone. A pregnancy cannot continue to grow in the uterus without progesterone. Without progesterone, the uterine lining will begin to thin and the embryo will detach from the uterine wall. Misoprostol induces cramping and bleeding to facilitate uterine evacuation.
The 2 most common medical abortions in Singapore are,
Oral mifepristone and misoprostol: you will take mifepristone first and then follow up with misoprostol 24 to 48 hours later at home. The drugs can be administered at the medical practitioner’s clinic or at home.
Oral mifepristone and vaginal, buccal, or sublingual misoprostol: The same medications as in the previous approach are used in this procedure, but a slowly dissolving misoprostol pill is placed in your vagina (vaginal route), in your mouth between your teeth and cheek (buccal route), or under your tongue (sublingual route).
The vaginal, buccal, or sublingual route is less likely to cause side effects and may be more effective. The drugs can be administered at the medical practitioner’s clinic or at home.
Other medical abortions,
Vaginal misoprostol alone: This could only be effective if used before 9 weeks of gestation. When compared with the other routes, this is the least effective.
Within the first 24-48 hours of administering medication, you will experience bleeding and cramping. It is important that you be prepared to stay at home and rest well to minimize complications and facilitate the recovery process better. It’s normal to experience more bleeding for one to two days. Over the course of two to three weeks, bleeding will gradually begin to stop.
To limit the risk of infection, it is advised that you avoid sexual activity and the use of tampons for two weeks after an abortion.
Possible Side Effects and Complications
Vaginal bleeding and cramping are the most common side effects of medical abortion. Other side effects could include the following but will clear within 24 hours.
- Nausea and vomiting
The following symptoms require immediate medical attention:
- Heavy bleeding: soaking more than 2 thick pads per hour
- Severe abdominal or back pain
- High fever that lasts more than 24 hours
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Follow-up and Self-Care After a Medical Abortion
After a medical abortion, you will require a follow-up appointment with your doctor to perform a pelvic examination, and assess your uterine size, bleeding, and symptoms of infection.
Recovery and Emotional Support
The time it takes to recover from a medical abortion varies. You may be able to resume normal activities within a day or two in some circumstances. Avoid any actions that cause you discomfort. You will most likely experience a range of feelings, including relief, grief, worry, and guilt. These are common and anticipated feelings. It may be beneficial to discuss your feelings with a mental health professional, such as a counselor or therapist. Your healthcare practitioner may be able to refer you to mental health professionals who can assist you.
Selecting An Abortion Clinic in Singapore
The decision to have a medical abortion is highly personal. Therefore, it is essential that you select an abortion clinic that can give you the maximum privacy, support, and understanding you deserve during this difficult decision. Seng’s clinic with their expert medical professionals can guide you through this process and make sure you know what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Contact us, and our healthcare team will make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure and receive the best medical and emotional support you need.