Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

A D&C is opening the cervix and removing the lining (endometrial) and contents of the uterus. A D&C can be diagnostic and therapeutic and has many uses including:

•    To diagnose the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding or to diagnose cancer inside the uterus
•    For treatment of incomplete spontaneous miscarriage
•    To treat minor diseases of the uterus
•    For elective abortion during early pregnancy
•    Removal of membranes and placenta after childbirth, in cases where they fail to deliver spontaneously

Description of Procedure
It is normally performed in the hospital or a surgery center. A general anesthetic, local anesthetic or both may be used. The vagina is cleansed with antiseptic solution.

The cervix is carefully opened with dilators, and a curette or suction device is inserted into the uterus.

The curette is used to scrape the endometrium from the uterine wall. The tissue may be removed for examination and diagnosis, or for treatment of heavy or irregular uterine bleeding. Occasionally, ultrasound can be used for guidance of the instruments.

Post-operative Care
Expect slight vaginal bleeding and mild uterine cramping during recovery from surgery. Use a sanitary pad to protect clothing and avoid tampons temporarily as they may lead to infection.

Antibiotics are often given during, or following, the procedure to help prevent any infections.

Prescription pain medication should generally only be required for 2 to 7 days following the procedure.

You may use nonprescription drugs such as Tylenol or Motrin for minor pain.

You may resume driving in 1 to 2 days and resume sexual relations when spotting ceases or at least 2 weeks.

Notify our office if any vaginal discharge or bleeding increases or if you experience pain that simple pain medication does not relieve quickly.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT DILATION AND CURETTAGE AT WWW.ACOG.ORG