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Healthcare in Singapore
Women’s Health in Singapore
Expat mums-to-be needn’t worry too much about going through their pregnancy in Singapore. Medical care for expecting mothers and their baby in Singapore is definitely above average. Our guide prepares you for this exciting period in your life and provides general information on women's health as well.
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If you are looking for a gynecologist in Singapore, there is certainly no lack of qualified medical professionals. Doctors offer cancer screenings as well as consultations on sexual health and birth control. Some ob/gyn clinics also provide abortion in Singapore.
Recommended Ob/Gyn Checkups
Generally speaking, expatriate women should see their gynecologist in Singapore once a year to undergo a regular health checkup. This mostly involves a pap smear and manual exams for ovarian, cervical, and breast cancer. In some cases, further tests — like an ultrasound examination — can be necessary. Any good gynecologist in Singapore will take the time to talk to you about the following topics: menstrual cycles, medical history and hereditary health risks, contraception, fertility, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Older women between 50 and 70 should also go their gynecologist in Singapore for annual mammograms. This routine screening for breast cancer can start at an earlier age or involve additional checkups, like a mammal ultrasound, if there is a family history of breast cancer. Citizens and permanent residents with public health insurance in Singapore can cover this procedure from their Medisave accounts, which are part of Singapore’s social security system. All other resident women should always enquire with their insurance provider which gynecological exams their healthcare plan includes.
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Finding the Right Gynecologist
A first address for general questions about women’s health (like STIs or emergency contraception) in the public sector is the DSC Women’s Clinic in Kelantan Lane. If you don’t know any gynecologist in Singapore yet, the Singapore Medical Council provides an online search form for all licensed specialists in the city-state.
Their qualifications are normally good to excellent, but you also have to find a doctor whose “bedside manner” you are comfortable with. After all, you have to trust them with slightly invasive procedures and rather intimate discussions. Often, it helps to ask your female co-workers, friends, or neighbors to recommend you their gynecologist in Singapore. If you have generous insurance coverage and your gynecologist in Singapore seems very alarmist or keen on doing lots of tests, you should probably get a second opinion.
Abortion in Singapore
For many women, news of a pregnancy is one of the happiest moments in their life. For others, it may be a personal catastrophe. If you consider terminating a pregnancy, for whatever reason, you should be well informed about abortion in Singapore.
Firstly, abortion in Singapore is legal, but there are certain specifications, i.e. until the 24th week of your pregnancy, but not every ob/gyn offers it. To find a qualified clinic that can give you an abortion in Singapore, please check the Ministry of Health website. Before the ob/gyn terminates a pregnancy, you must attend a brief counseling session and undergo a mandatory waiting period of 48 hours. So, to receive an abortion in Singapore, you have to make two separate appointments.
The law requires a woman who wants to end her pregnancy to be “sound of mind and body” and to understand the consequences and potential risks involved. For foreign patients, additional regulations apply: if they aren’t permanent residents or are not married to a citizen, they can still get an abortion in Singapore. However, they must either have a local work permit or must have lived in Singapore for at least four months.
Be aware that your insurance company may not reimburse the medical fees. An abortion in Singapore usually costs between 300 and 2,000 SGD, depending on the exact circumstances and on your clinic of choice.
Contraception and Counseling
Obviously, it’s by far better to have reliable birth control than to undergo an abortion in Singapore. Fortunately, every gynecologist in Singapore can prescribe common contraceptives. These birth control methods include various contraceptive pills, hormonal injections, intra-uterine devices, and diaphragms. Your ob/gyn can also provide you with emergency contraception, which is not sold over the counter. Again, do check back with your health insurance provider which costs they will reimburse. Condoms are widely available in Singapore’s drugstores, pharmacies, and 24/7 convenience stores.
For any questions relating to sexual health and women’s issues — including such topics as domestic violence or sexual assault — you can phone the local women’s rights organization AWARE Singapore (1800-774-5935). They do not have a 24/7 crisis hotline, but they are available from Monday to Friday between 15:00 and 21:30. They will schedule a personal appointment for counseling if you wish. They also have an email contact if you would rather not speak on the phone — you will receive a reply within three working days if you choose this form of contact.