What are the Risks of Medical Abortion?

A is considered safe when done by an authorised abortion doctor adhering to strict health regulations. The two main types of abortion in Singapore are medical abortion and surgical abortion. While we generally recommend surgical abortions on the grounds of safety and comfort, here’s what you should know about the medical abortion method.


What is a medical abortion?

Medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, is a procedure which uses medication to end an unwanted pregnancy in its early stages. A medical abortion should be done within around 70 days of gestation.

It involves taking 2 medicines - mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone works by blocking the main pregnancy hormone, progesterone, preventing further growth of the pregnancy. After about 24-48 hours of taking mifepristone, misoprostol will be administered. Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract strongly and expel the pregnancy.


What are the risks of medical abortion?

  1. Incomplete abortion - This can result in serious infections and will also require an additional surgical abortion to remove any pregnancy tissue still remaining in the uterus.
  2. Severe bleeding – This is marked by passing of large blood clots for 2 hours or more, or heavy bleeding for 12 hours in a row. Immediate medical assistance is required.
  3. Heavy cramping – The medicines induce strong contractions so as to expel the uterine contents effectively, thus resulting in heavy cramping.
  4. Infection – Displaying symptoms such as abnormal vaginal discharge, persistent heavy bleeding, and fever.

After a medical abortion, you should make a follow-up visit with a gynaecologist and abortion doctor to ensure that you are healing properly. This is particularly so if you experience warning signs indicative of the complications mentioned above.

A medical abortion is a generally safe procedure, but make sure you receive proper medical attention before and after. For greater safety, predictability and comfort reasons, however, a surgical abortion is usually recommended. Make sure it is performed by an accredited doctor at an authorised for better care.


Tel: +65 6455 0050 (W GYNAE Women’s Clinic)

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