What Are Symptoms After A D&C Procedure?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

Please explain to me what is normal to expect after I have had a dilation and cutterage procedure (D&C). My baby did not have a heartbeat after the 7th to 9th week of pregnancy, but I only found out in my 12th week sonogram. My body did not warn me of a problem with cramps, heavy bleeding or any kind of nausea, yet I continued to gain weight, experience very sore breasts and fatigue. What should I expect hormonally and emotionally in the next few weeks since I am no longer with child?

Doctor's response

There are certainly many emotional and physical consequences of losing a fetus. It is always difficult to tell apart which symptoms are aggravated by the emotional distress a woman experiences after undergoing a D&C for pregnancy loss. Certainly a woman can get tired from blood loss that is due to the procedure. Sore breasts, fatigue and weight gain are all characteristics of hormonal changes that occur as a result of pregnancy. Therefore if all the pregnancy-related tissue was successfully removed (this is usually confirmed with blood tests), then all symptoms related to the pregnancy should gradually resolve. The resolution is gradual because the hormone levels take a while to come back down to normal. The period of time required for resolution may vary from woman to woman.

I hope you feel better soon. If you do not, you should discuss your symptoms with your physician and see what further evaluation would be necessary.

Medical Author:Carolyn Janet Crandall, M.D.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018
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