What is a D & C?

Last updated on Dec 09, 2012

by Brittany Null

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What is a D & C?

A D&C (or dilation & curettage) is a procedure that is performed after a miscarriage, a blighted ovum, or a “missed” abortion.

D and C, also known as dilation and curettage, is a procedure performed by a gynecologist after someone has suffered one of three things. 1- A miscarriage 2-blighted ovum or 3- a “missed” abortion. All three are explained here, as well as the procedure itself. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Miscarriage defined

A miscarriage is explained in the dictionary as “a natural loss of the products of conception.” In a nut shell, this is when you are pregnant and for some random act of nature, the baby dies in the womb. This is an actual fetus, one that usually resembles a baby.

Blighted ovum

A blighted ovum is when a placenta and gestational sac develop without an embryo. This type of loss is almost 50% of first trimester miscarriages. This would be considered a miscarriage without a fetus or baby.

“Missed abortion”

A “missed” abortion is when the pregnancy has ended, but all elements have not been released from the uterus yet.

Outpatient procedure

In all three of these cases, a D and C is required to be performed for the better health of the female. Your gynecologist performs this outpatient procedure while you are under general anesthesia. The procedure only takes a few moments and you wake up in “recovery.” Once awake you are only left at the hospital for a few hours and then released to recover at home. After the procedure and you are at home, you might feel some pain, bleeding, and just generally uncomfortable.

The procedure itself

Once asleep tools are used to open your cervix (dilation). Then a hollow tube is used to remove anything remaining inside your uterus, sometimes this requires scraping the wall of the uterus to remove anything that may be “stuck” (curettage). Quick and easy.

Possible complications of D & C

As in any surgery conducted, the D and C also has complications; infections, perforation of the uterus, extreme pain, and discomfort are all possible with a D and C. Please be aware of these prior to going under anesthesia. Ask your doctor if prescription medication can be prescribed if you do not handle pain well.

The “traumatic” stage

While physically you should be ready to go back to your normal activities in a matter of days, try to take time to emotionally recover as well. This procedure is usually done due to “traumatic” circumstances such as losing your child. This will take a big toll on the average woman.

D and C’s are hard on all women, know that you are not alone with your pregnancy loss and there are support groups online to join if you need to talk to others in your situation.

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What is a D & C?, 4.0 out of 5 based on 8 ratings

Brittany lives in Kansas City, where she and her husband Austin are the proud parents of a newborn baby girl. You can subscribe to their lively and entertaining YouTube Channel to follow along on their journey.

  • Alexua

    Can you get pragant while taking birth control pills

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    Yes, however; as long as you’re taking your birth control pills regularly everyday and you don’t miss taking them, there is just a least possibility for you to get pregnant.

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