Female sex workers

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Abortion is the premature termination of pregnancy.

Up to how many weeks?

  • In Belgium pregnancy can be terminated until the 14th week, counting from the first day of the last menstrual period.
  • PLEASE NOTE! There is a legal procedure to go through.
  • Therefore, make an appointment with your doctor or the abortion clinic as soon as possible.
  • Because there is a one-week reflection period between your first appointment and the actual abortion.

The medical abortion (up to 9 weeks)

  • Early in your pregnancy, you can take medication to terminate the pregnancy.
  • It involves taking several pills on different days.
  • They artificially induce a miscarriage.

Vacuum aspiration (up to 14 weeks)

  • This is a minor procedure that uses gentle suction to empty the uterus.
  • The treatment takes about 15 minutes.
  • Depending on the centre, it can be done under local anaesthetic or under general anaesthetic.

Course of the treatment

First appointment

  • During a meeting with a psychosocial worker your decision to terminate the pregnancy, how the abortion is carried out and the use of contraceptives will be discussed.
  • Afterwards you will see the doctor for an ultrasound.
  • If you decide to terminate the pregnancy, a second appointment will be made for the abortion. The procedure can take place no sooner than 6 days after the first appointment. This is the legally required reflection period.
  • You can always ask for more consultations.

Second appointment: abortion

  • Upon arrival at the centre, you first have a short meeting with the psychosocial worker. You can ask questions, the course of treatment will be discussed briefly, you will get some advice for the next couple of days and contraception will also be discussed.
  • You will need to fill out a form authorising the doctor to perform the surgery.
  • Expect to be in the centre for 2 to 3 hours.

The next day

  • The day of the abortion you are advised to take it easy.
  • Do not lift heavy objects and do not do anything exhausting.
  • The next day you can resume normal activities.

The week after

To avoid infections, it is best the first week to:

  • Avoid using tampons or sponges.
  • Not have vaginal sex. If you do want to work, try to use alternative sexual techniques (oral sex, massage, role play, hand job, etc.).
  • Not wash or rinse internally.
  • Not swim.
  • Not bathe seated or lying down.
  • Taking a shower is possible, though.
  • Use a condom, even with your partner.

If you have any complaints during this week, see a physician immediately.

You should contact your doctor quickly for:

  • A temperature above 38 °C. You may have an infection. It is important to have it treated immediately.
  • Significant pain.
  • Excessive bleeding (more than 2 sanitary pads per hour for at least two hours or heavy bleeding that continues for more than 1 week).

Third appointment: check up

You will be asked to return for a check-up two to three weeks after the abortion. This can also be done by your gynaecologist. You can talk to the psychosocial worker if you so desire.

Where?

The abortion is carried out in a specialised centre where doctors and psychosocial workers are present to guide you.

For recognised abortion clinics in Flanders and Wallonia:

Flanders

Wallonia

Financial support

  • If you do not have insurance, abortion is expensive in Belgium.
  • Check whether it is cheaper to have an abortion in your own country.
  • If not, apply for 'dringende medische hulp’ (urgent medical care) from the OCMW. If your application is approved, there is a possibility that the OCMW might help you with the medical expenses.
  • Ask your doctor or social worker for more information.

Illegal abortion

  •  In Belgium abortions can only be carried out in a recognised abortion clinic.
  •  All other abortion facilities are outlawed.
  •  Do not buy abortion-inducing medication on the black market.
  • This medication is often fake and may contain an incorrect dosage.
  • Improper use of this medication can have serious consequences:
  1.  You may experience prolonged serious bleeding.
  2. It is possible that you are still pregnant afterwards.
  3. The uterus may not be properly cleaned, which may lead to infections.

Read this for more information on proper use of medication 

 

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