This Singaporean Gynecologist Discusses Possible Complications Of Abortions

The decision to have an abortion can be difficult and the termination of a pregnancy can prove overwhelming for many women, especially when they begin to consider the complications involved. How safe is an abortion procedure in Singapore? Is there any risk of health consequences following the procedure?

On DoctorxDentist, gynaecologist Dr Jasmine Mohd described the possible complications of abortions and the possibility of experiencing them. Here's what she had to share.

In general, abortions in Singapore are safe

a doctor consoling a patient


Abortions performed by a certified gynaecologist in a Ministry of Health approved clinic or hospital in Singapore are generally safe with low complication rates. [1]

However, there are several possible complications to take note of

a doctor consoling a woman on a couch


A surgical abortion procedure does carry certain risks for some women. For example, one possible complication includes small amounts of placental tissue remaining in the uterus.

If the remaining placental tissue does not pass out on its own, a dilation and a sharp, blunt, or suction curettage procedure may be needed to remove it. [2]

Infection may also be possible

a woman clutching her stomach



Another rare complication involves the infection of the uterine or pelvic areas. However, infections are more associated with illegal abortions done by non-medically trained people, and not professional clinical abortions. [3]

There is also a risk of infertility with repeated curettages

a woman and her male partner with a doctor



If a woman has undergone repeated curettages (removal of tissue by scraping or scooping), she may be at higher risk of Asherman's syndrome. This is when scar tissue forms in the uterus, reducing menstrual flow or causing infertility which may require surgery to correct. [4]

Another rare complication is uterine perforation

a woman looking downward while sitting on a couch


This occurs when there is a puncture in the uterine wall which can cause injury. In order to avoid any more damage, a laparoscopic procedure may need to be performed to assess the situation and stop the bleeding.

The complications described above are rare in Singapore, but important to consider as you gather knowledge of the medical procedure. Consult your gynaecologist for help with any concerns you have and discuss your options before going through with an abortion. 

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References:

1. Cheng MC., Ng A, Seng K., Ratnam S. The safety of outpatient abortion, a controlled study | ScholarBank@NUS. Nus.edu.sg. 2019. doi:03044602 Accessed April 24, 2019.

2. Hooker AB, Aydin H, Brölmann HAM, Huirne JAF. Long-term complications and reproductive outcome after the management of retained products of conception: a systematic review. Fertility and Sterility. 2016;105(1):156-164.e2. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.09.021 ‌ Accessed April 24, 2019.

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