What is a D&C? (Dilation and Curettage)?

What is a D&C? (Dilation and Curettage)?

D & C Basics

You might have heard the term D & C before, but chances are, unless you have personally been through one yourself, you probably aren’t all too familiar with what one actually is. D & C stands for Dilation and Cutterage, and it is a procedure that is done where a doctor dilates your cervix and then uses a special instrument to scrape the uterine lining and remove tissue from the cervix. The tissue is sometimes sent to a lab to help diagnose or treat problems that the woman might be suffering from. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

When is a D&C done?

D & C’s are done in a variety of different situations, however, the most common situation is when a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, to remove small pieces of the placenta that may remain behind in the uterus.

D&C’s are done in this case to help prevent infections or heavy bleeding. D&C’s are also sometimes done to help a doctor diagnose or treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Some women who have uterine polyps, fibroids, endometriosis, uterine cancers, or other uterine problems, need to undergo a D&C to help figure out what is going on.

How are D&C’s done?

The whole D&C process is actually quite simple. The procedure itself only takes between 10 and 15 minutes, but a woman may have to stay in the hospital up to six hours following the procedure. The procedure itself is pretty straightforward.

The doctor will dilate the cervix, and then use a special instrument called a curette to either scrape or suction tissue from the cervix. During the procedure, women are given an anesthetic so that they are numb. Sometimes this is a general anesthetic, and the woman is put to sleep, and other times, it is a local anesthetic, and the area is numbed.

After a D&C

After a D&C, there might be some cramping or general discomfort once the anesthesia wears off. There might also be some light spotting or bleeding, but generally nothing too severe. After a D&C, a woman will need someone to take her home, since she will be groggy from the anesthetic, and it will not be safe for her to drive.

After a few days of taking it easy, a woman can typically return to her daily activities. A follow up is usually done a few weeks later to make sure that everything is healing properly.

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Dr. Christine Lee, MD
Dr. Christine Lee, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Christine Lee earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Master of Science in Biomolecular Organization. Dr. Lee is Lab Director for ConceiveEasy and is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD).