Officers say they were "shocked" when they found the foetus in the toilet.

Police in the United Arab Emirates are questioning a woman after a seven-month-old male foetus was allegedly found in the toilet of her home.

Local police in the emirate of Umm al-Quwain told Gulf News that the woman aborted the baby and had tried to flush it down the toilet of her residence in the Free Zone area.

However the heavily bleeding woman, who was reportedly in a lot of pain following the abortion, had to be taken to a hospital immediately and she could not successfully dispose of the foetus.

"The woman forced the foetus down the toilet (and tried) to flush him away, but she could not complete her crime because of (excess) bleeding (so) she went to the hospital along with her friend" said Colonel Mohammad Al Beiraq, director general of police operations.

According to Beiraq, hospital staff had informed the police of a woman who was admitted complaining of severe bleeding.

"The emergency section there informed us of an Asian woman bleeding after giving birth to a seven-month-old foetus," he said.

Further investigations by the doctors confirmed that the heavy bleeding was the result of an abortion.

When police searched the woman's apartment, they found blood-stained clothes and the head of a foetus sticking out of the toilet.

The foetus was recovered by Civil Defence personnel in an operation which lasted two hours. The workers had to remove the concrete around the toilet to dig out the sewage pipe and remove the body.

It is believed that the baby was born at 28 weeks and was still alive when the woman tried to flush it down.

The case has been referred to the Public Prosecution department and investigations are ongoing.