The dilatation and curettage procedure takes only 10 to 15 minutes and is usually performed at the doctor’s clinic or in the hospital. However, you may need to stay in the clinic or hospital for up to 5 hours.
What does D&C mean?
Dilatation and curettage or D&C is a short surgical procedure that is done to remove tissues from your womb (uterus) after an abortion or miscarriage or diagnose the reason for your heavy bleeding.
In the suction curettage, the doctor uses a suction machine, and the contents of the uterus are suctioned out at the pressure of 60-65 cm Hg.
Why does the doctor suggest D&C?
Your obstetrician may suggest D&C for several reasons. It is performed to
- Remove remaining tissues from your womb during or after a miscarriage or abortion to avoid infection and heavy bleeding.
- Remove placental tissue from your womb after childbirth, thereby avoiding infection and heavy bleeding.
- Diagnose or treat unexplained or abnormal heavy vaginal bleeding due to fibroids, polyps, hormonal imbalances, or cancer of the uterus. The sample of womb tissue will be checked under a microscope in the laboratory for any abnormalities (biopsy).
- Remove a molar pregnancy (tumor).
What happens during the procedure?
Before the procedure:
- You will be informed not to take anything by mouth for at least 6-8 hours.
- You may receive sedation to put you to sleep for a short time if the procedure is performed in the hospital.
- If the procedure is performed in clinical settings, then you may receive some injections that will numb your cervix and will make it easier to open.
During the procedure:
- Your obstetrician will place a device known as a speculum to widen the opening of your uterus (cervix) that may cause cramping.
- After dilating (opening) the cervix, the tissues from inside the uterus will be removed with a scraping instrument known as a curette, a suction tube, and other specialized tools.
- Your doctor may insert a special scope with an attached camera known as a hysteroscope, which provides a magnified view of the inside of the uterus. This is especially used when you are not pregnant and have abnormal bleeding.
After the procedure:
- You may need someone to take you home.
- If you have received general anesthesia, then you may feel dizzy or feel nauseated and you may vomit.
- You may have mild cramping or slight bleeding (spotting) for a few days, which is normal.
- You may receive pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen or Paracetamol.
- You can resume daily activities within 1 or 2 days unless your doctor instructs you.
- Delay sex and use of tampons until your doctor instructs you to. It is normal to have some vaginal bleeding for a few days after the procedure. There may be cramping for the first few days after a D&C.
- You may get your periods after 4-6 weeks of the procedure.
What are the possible complications?
Mostly, D&C is a safe procedure, but there are some possible complications, such as
- Tear or rupture of the uterus (womb)
- Scar tissue formation
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Tears in the cervix
- Uterine bleeding
Mayoclinic. Dilation and curettage (D&C). https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dilation-and-curettage/about/pac-20384910
Victoria State Government. Dilation and curettage (D&C). https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dilatation-and-curettage-dc
American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dilation and curettage (D&C). https://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/documents/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/dilation-and-curettage-dc/
John Hopkins Medicine. Dilation and curettage (D and C). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/dilation-and-curettage-d-and-c
Top How Long Does a Suction D&C Take? Related Articles
Childbirth Delivery Methods and TypesLearn about the pros and cons of various childbirth methods, such as the Bradley method, C-section, natural childbirth, water birth, Lamaze, and vaginal delivery. Read about birthing centers, hospital and home births, midwives, and doulas.
Braxton Hicks Contractions (False Labor)Braxton Hicks contractions are also known as false labor pains. Though these irregular uterine contractions may occur in the second trimester, they're more likely to occur during the third trimester of pregnancy. Unlike true labor pains, false labor pains are often irregular, may stop when you walk, rest, or change positions, and the contractions do not get closer together or stronger.
Braxton Hicks vs. True Labor: How to Tell the DifferenceSome pregnant women may mistake Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor) for real labor contractions, especially in the first pregnancy. Real labor contractions occur at regular intervals that become progressively shorter; more painful as labor progresses; are described as a tightening, pounding, or stabbing pain. Braxton Hicks contractions do not occur in regular intervals; do not become longer over time; and may disappear for a period of time and then return. Braxton Hicks contractions occur in third trimester of pregnancy, however, sometimes can occur in the second trimester. True labor contractions begin around your due date (unless your baby is preterm, in which you will be in preterm labor). So how can you tell the difference? Here are a few similarities and differences between Braxton Hicks contractions and True or real labor contractions.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions tend to become more frequent toward the end of pregnancy, and are not as painful as real labor contractions; do not occur in regular intervals; do not become longer over time; and may disappear for a period of time and then return.
Frequently one of the early symptoms and signs of true labor is when the contractions begin to occur less than 10 minutes apart.
Real labor contractions occur at regular intervals that become progressively shorter; more painful as labor progresses; are described as a tightening, pounding, or stabbing pain; may feel similar to menstrual cramps; and sometimes Braxton Hicks contractions can be triggered by dehydration, sexual intercourse, increased activity of the mother or baby, touching of the pregnant woman's abdomen, or a distended bladder.
Natural and home remedies to soothe and provide comfort for Braxton Hicks contractions include relaxation exercises like deep breathing or mental relaxation; change positions or take a walk if you have been active and rest; drink a glass of herbal tea or water; eat; or soak in a warm bath for 30 minutes (or less).
Preterm labor signs and symptomsWhen you have reached 37 weeks, and the contractions are more painful and are increasing in frequency you will have abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping, an increase in pelvic pressure or back pain, and the contractions are more than four contractions an hour.
Labor Symptoms (Early Signs)Every woman's experience with labor and delivery is unique for each woman, and thus "Normal" labor varies from woman to woman. Some of the common signs and symptoms of normal labor include the "baby dropping," increase urination, back pain, contractions, and diarrhea.
How Is A Cesarean Delivery Done?Cesarean delivery is the surgical delivery of a baby by making an incision in the mother’s abdominal wall and uterus. Although cesarean delivery is generally safe, it should be performed during certain circumstances. About 30% of all babies in the United States are born through cesarean delivery.
How Long Does It Take to Go Into Labor After Being Induced?The time it takes to go into labor after being induced can take anywhere from a few hours to 2-3 days. Learn what to expect when inducing labor. Check out the center below for more medical references on labor and childbirth, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related diseases, treatment, diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Are Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Symptoms?Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms including irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. Treatment of PCOS depends partially on the woman's stage of life and the symptoms of PCOS.
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by WeekSee pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman's body goes through and view fetal images of how her baby grows during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
What Are the Side Effects of Cesarean Delivery?Cesarean delivery is a surgery to deliver a baby through a surgical cut (incision) on the abdomen and uterus. It is generally a safe procedure for the mother and baby. There may, however, be a few risks to the health of the mother and baby. These risks are described below.
What Are the Side Effects of Vacuum Delivery?Vacuum delivery is a type of assisted birth delivery also called ventouse-assisted delivery. Vacuum-assisted birth is a method to assist the delivery of a baby using a vacuum device. The side effects include potential risks to the mother and risks to the baby.
What Is Better: Normal or Cesarean Delivery?Delivery of a full-term newborn baby (37-42 weeks from the last menses of mother) through the vagina without the use of forceps or vacuum for assistance is called a normal delivery of a baby. It is the most preferred option of delivery in the United States, that is, almost two of every three deliveries are normal.
What Is the Process of Normal Delivery?Normal delivery refers to childbirth through the vagina without any medical intervention. It is also known as a vaginal birth. Every delivery is unique and may differ from mothers to mothers. There are different stages of normal delivery or vaginal birth.
When Can You Have a VBAC After Cesarean Delivery?VBAC stands for vaginal birth after cesarean. If a woman has delivered a baby by Cesarean delivery and she is pregnant again, she may be able to choose between delivering through a repeat Cesarean delivery or a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).