Dilation and Curettage (D&C)
Dilation and curettage is a type of procedure. It is often called a D&C. It removes tissue from inside your uterus. The doctor may do this to find out if the tissue is not normal. Or it might be done to stop severe bleeding.
During a D&C, the cervix is opened gently so that tissue can be removed, usually with a scraping or suction tool. A D&C may be done in a hospital or clinic.
The procedure usually takes 15 to 30 minutes. You will probably go home the same day.
What To Expect
- Most women are able to return to normal activities in a day or two.
- You may have mild pelvic cramping for a few hours.
- You may have a small amount of vaginal discharge.
- Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.
- Your next period may be early or late.
Why It Is Done
Dilation and curettage (D&C) may be used to:
- Find and treat bleeding problems.
- Control sudden, heavy vaginal bleeding that is causing heavy blood loss or a low number of red blood cells (anemia).
- Get a tissue sample for testing. For example, a postmenopausal woman who has vaginal bleeding may be tested for signs of endometrial cancer.
How Well It Works
D&C usually stops heavy menstrual bleeding. The stop in bleeding may be temporary.
A D&C has risks, but problems are rare. The risks include:
- Puncture of the uterine wall.
- Heavy vaginal bleeding.
- Scarring of the lining of the uterus. This can make it hard to get pregnant.
Current as of:
November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology