Dilation and curettage (D&C)
Dilation and curettage (D&C)
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Doctors perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.
In a dilation and curettage — sometimes spelled "dilatation" and curettage — your doctor uses small instruments or a medication to open (dilate) your cervix — the lower, narrow part of your uterus. Your doctor then uses a surgical instrument called a curette to remove uterine tissue. Curettes used in a D&C can be sharp or use suction.
Dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure
Why it's done
Dilation and curettage can diagnose or treat a uterine condition.
To diagnose a condition
Your doctor might recommend a type of D&C called endometrial sampling to diagnose a condition if:
You have abnormal uterine bleeding
You experience bleeding after menopause
Your doctor discovers abnormal endometrial cells during a routine test for cervical cancer
To perform the test, your doctor collects a tissue sample from the lining of your uterus (endometrium) and sends the sample to a lab for testing. The test can check for:
Endometrial hyperplasia — a precancerous condition in which the uterine lining becomes too thick
To treat a condition
When performing a therapeutic D&C, your doctor removes the contents from inside your uterus, not just a small tissue sample. Your doctor may do this to:
Clear out tissues that remain in the uterus after a miscarriage or abortion to prevent infection or heavy bleeding
Remove a molar pregnancy, in which a tumor forms instead of a normal pregnancy
Treat excessive bleeding after delivery by clearing out any placenta that remains in the uterus
Remove cervical or uterine polyps, which are usually noncancerous (benign)
Your doctor may perform the D&C along with another procedure called a hysteroscopy. During a hysteroscopy, your doctor inserts a slim instrument with a light and camera on the end into your vagina, through your cervix and up into your uterus.
Your doctor then views the lining of your uterus on a screen, noting any areas that look abnormal, making sure there aren't any polyps and taking tissue samples as needed. During a hysteroscopy, your doctor can also remove uterine polyps and fibroid tumors.
Dilation and curettage is usually very safe, and complications are rare. However, there are risks. These include:
Perforation of the uterus. Perforation of the uterus occurs when a surgical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus. This happens more often in women who were recently pregnant and in women who have gone through menopause.
Most perforations heal on their own. However, if a blood vessel or other organ is damaged, a second procedure may be necessary to repair it.
Damage to the cervix. If the cervix is torn during the D&C, your doctor can apply pressure or medicine to stop the bleeding, or can close the wound with stitches (sutures).
Scar tissue on the uterine wall. Rarely, a D&C results in development of scar tissue in the uterus, a condition known as Asherman's syndrome. Asherman's syndrome happens most often when the D&C is done after a miscarriage or delivery.
This can lead to abnormal, absent or painful menstrual cycles, future miscarriages and infertility.
Infection. Infection after a D&C is possible, but rare.
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following after a D&C:
Bleeding that's heavy enough that you need to change pads every hour
Cramps lasting more than 48 hours
Pain that gets worse instead of better
Foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
How you prepare
Dilation and curettage may be performed in a hospital, clinic or your doctor's office, and it's usually done as an outpatient procedure.
Before the procedure:
Follow your doctor's instructions on limiting food and drink.
Arrange for someone to help you get home because you may be drowsy after the anesthesia wears off.
Clear your schedule to allow enough time for the procedure and recovery afterward. You'll likely spend a few hours in recovery after the procedure.
In some cases, your doctor may start the process of dilating your cervix a few hours or even a day before the procedure. This helps your cervix open gradually and is usually done when your cervix needs to be dilated more than in a standard D&C, such as during pregnancy terminations or with certain types of hysteroscopy.
To promote dilation, your doctor uses a medication called misoprostol (Cytotec) — given orally or vaginally — to soften the cervix or inserts a slender rod made of laminaria into your cervix. The laminaria gradually expands by absorbing the fluid in your cervix, causing your cervix to open.
What you can expect during the procedure
Dilation and curettage (D&C)Open pop-up dialog box
For dilation and curettage, you'll receive anesthesia. The choice of anesthesia depends on the reason for the D&C and your medical history.
General anesthesia makes you unconscious and unable to feel pain. Other forms of anesthesia provide light sedation or use injections to numb only a small area (local anesthesia) or a larger region (regional anesthesia) of your body.
During the procedure:
You lie on your back on an exam table while your heels rest in supports called stirrups.
Your doctor inserts an instrument called a speculum into your vagina, as during a Pap test, in order to see your cervix.
Your doctor inserts a series of thicker and thicker rods into your cervix to slowly dilate your cervix until it's adequately opened.
Your doctor removes the dilation rods and inserts a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge or a suction device and removes uterine tissue.
Because you're either unconscious or sedated during a D&C, you shouldn't feel any discomfort.
After the procedure
You may spend a few hours in a recovery room after the D&C so that your doctor can monitor you for heavy bleeding or other complications. This also gives you time to recover from the effects of anesthesia.
If you had general anesthesia, you may become nauseated or vomit, or you might have a sore throat if a tube was placed in your windpipe to help you breathe. With general anesthesia or light sedation, you may also feel drowsy for several hours.
Normal side effects of a D&C may last a few days and include:
Spotting or light bleeding
For discomfort from cramping, your doctor may suggest taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or another medication.
You should be able to resume your normal activities within a day or two.
Wait to put anything in your vagina until your cervix returns to normal to prevent bacteria from entering your uterus, possibly causing an infection. Ask your doctor when you can use tampons and resume sexual activity.
Your uterus must build a new lining after a D&C, so your next period may not come on time. If you had a D&C because of a miscarriage, and you want to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about when it's safe to start trying again.
Your doctor will discuss the results of the procedure after the D&C or at a follow-up appointment.
Fathima hospital, backed by specialists from multiple disciplines, specialises in handling high risk pregnancies. It is important to note that women, who are diagnosed with high-risk issues, mostly go on to have a normal pregnancy and a healthy delivery.
Fathima hospital offers pain relief programs that are globally applied to ease pain during labour. There are a number of options to ensure painless delivery, many of which pregnant women here are not aware of.
Fetal medicine focuses on the care of pregnant women where there is a need to monitor the health and wellbeing of the unborn child (fetus). This includes monitoring the rate of the baby’s growth, as well as diagnosing and managing fetal disorders and abnormalities using both invasive and non-invasive methods.
Our specialized fertility experts are highly experienced, and their technology and strict processes ensure high success rates. IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) is a type of assisted reproductive technology which involves a series of procedures to treat fertility and assist with the conception of child.
Fathima Hospital has customized Antenatal programmes designed to make you feel safe, good and happy, these programmes educate you on the process of childbirth and the different stages of labour - in all, encouraging natural birthing as much as possible.
Postnatal exercises are important for you. They help you regain the strength of your abdominal muscles and help prevent lower back injury and other complications like abdominal organs from "drooping forward" due to lack of support. They also help you regain a flat stomach.
Our OB/GYN surgeons offer a variety of traditional and minimally invasive surgical procedures: Tubal ligation, removal of ovarian cysts, fibroids, growths from the cervix, Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy), ovaries, Hysteroscopy etc.
Fetal medicine, which is an extension of the branch of Ultrasonography, treats the fetus as a patient in utero for any problems it might have. It comprises of Fetal scanning, Procedures such as Amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, and cord blood sampling, Screening tests and interpretation of the results.
When it comes to your little one’s health, you need to be extra sure. Hence, you want to know all the whys and when of vaccinations to be administered to your child from the time of birth. Keeping that in mind, we hand you over a vaccination schedule for your baby with all the mandatory and optional vaccines prescribed from the time of birth.
Each pregnancy is unique and you have the right to be involved in all decisions affecting you and your baby. A good relationship with your maternity care provider can make a big difference in planning your pregnancy care. At Fathima hospital, Department of Obstetrics includes a team of expert gynaecologists, foetal medicine Specialist, physiotherapists, and trained and experienced nursing staff. Our hospital is equipped with advanced neonatal care team supported by state-of-the-art NICU infrastructure to ensure that complex and high-risk pregnancies can be managed including extremely premature birthings.
At Fathima Hospital, we provide comprehensive consultations, lab testing, ultrasound scan to provide the best possible care during your 1st Trimister to 3rd Trimister. A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) to the birth of the baby. It is divided into three stages, called trimesters: first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester. The fetus undergoes many changes throughout maturation. A woman will experience many changes during the pregnancy like morning sickness, or nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy, at 6–8 weeks. A pregnant woman might also feel very tired and notice that she is more emotional than usual due to hormonal changes.
Types of Delivery
Few things in life are more exciting than the birth of a new baby. This has been the case throughout human history, but childbirth options for new mothers have advanced to make the experience more safe. Fathima hospital offers comfortable maternity suites that convert into state of the art delivery rooms. An easy birth and a perfectly executed birth plan is ideal. But we know that even the most carefully planned birth can take twists and turns. In those cases, it's important to be prepared for alternative delivery methods.
A range of tests is available if you are pregnant. These tests can confirm your pregnancy and also monitor your baby’s development in the womb. Regular check-ups with your gynecologist, fetal medicine specislists are an important part of pregnancy care, including information and advice about what tests you and your baby will need. Checking the general health of the mother and baby, the different kinds of tests available to pregnant women include: tests to confirm pregnancy, maternal health screening, routine screening tests (these tell you how likely it is that your baby has a certain health condition), diagnostic tests – for pregnancies at increased risk (these tell you more accurately if your baby has a certain health condition).
Complications can arise in pregnancies for many reasons. Sometimes a woman’s existing health conditions contribute to problems. Other times, new conditions arise because of hormonal and body changes that occur during pregnancy. They can involve the mother’s health, the baby’s health, or both. Some women have health problems that arise during pregnancy, and other women have health problems before they become pregnant that could lead to complications. It is very important for women to receive health care before and during pregnancy to decrease the risk of pregnancy complications. If you are receiving treatment for a health problem, your health care provider might want to change the way your health problem is managed.
High Risk Pregnancy
A high-risk pregnancy is one that threatens the health or life of the mother or her fetus. It often requires specialized care from specially trained providers. Some pregnancies become high risk as they progress, while some women are at increased risk for complications even before they get pregnant for a variety of reasons. Early and regular prenatal care helps many women have healthy pregnancies and deliveries without complications. A high-risk pregnancy may be one that involves chronic health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure; infections; complications from a previous pregnancy; or other issues that might arise during pregnancy. Treatment for high-risk pregnancy depends on the risk factors and overall health of the mother and fetus.
Ideally, women of child bearing age should be immunized before becoming pregnant to protect their babies against various diseases. Pregnancy should not deter a woman from receiving vaccines that are safe and will protect both her health and that of her unborn child. Extreme care has to be taken to avoid those vaccines that harm the unborn baby. Pregnant women who aren’t up-to-date on their immunizations may be susceptible to diseases that can harm them or their unborn child. If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about which vaccines you may need and whether you should get them now or wait until after your child is born.
Bad Obstetric History
Pregnancy loss is a frustrating and challenging problem for couples and clinicians alike. Miscarriage is often associated with guilt, embarrassment and depressive states. This is particularly true when the patient presents with subsequent pregnancy with added concerns of primary or secondary infertility, irregular menses, absent or irregular ovulation, a known history of uterine fibroids, a family history of miscarriage, advancing age, medical history and a prior history of pregnancy complications. It certainly warrants a detailed consultation and reassurance with a practitioner committed to pregnancy loss evaluation.
Ectopic / Tubal Pregnancy
Pregnancy begins with a fertilized egg. Normally, the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy most often occurs in a fallopian tube, which carries eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. This type of ectopic pregnancy is called a tubal pregnancy. Sometimes, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in other areas of the body, such as the ovary, abdominal cavity or the lower part of the uterus (cervix), which connects to the vagina. An ectopic pregnancy can't proceed normally. The fertilized egg can't survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated.
A multiple pregnancy occurs when one egg (ovum) splits before implanting or when separate eggs are each fertilized by a different sperm. Identical twins or triplets occur with the fertilization of a single egg that later divides into two or three identical embryos. Identical twins or triplets have the same genetic identity, are always the same sex, and look almost exactly the same. Fraternal multiples develop from separate eggs that are each fertilized by a different sperm. Fraternal twins might or might not be of the same sex and might not necessarily resemble each other any more than two siblings from the same parents might.
Your pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of your life. At Fathima hospital, we will help you enjoy the journey with the support of our expert team, in modern private surroundings.
Families have trusted us for generations at this special time, and we have an enviable international reputation for private maternity care.
Our expertise enables us to safely look after you and your baby, whether it is your first child, your third child, you are expecting twins, or if you or your little one has additional health needs. Whatever your situation, we have the right team to support you. Our packages have been devised with you in mind, to give you the time and attention you need to make the birth of your child as special as possible.
Your pregnancy journey has begun! When is your due date?
Fathima hopsital - Maternity care facilities Process Chart
The best practices to ensure the that a mother gets utmost care during pregnancy and labor. Here is a list of our resources enabling to help you prepare for everything, from conception to delivery and beyond. Fathima hospital is fully equipped to comply with the maternity care Process chart.
Treatments and Procedures
The Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology has the capability and facilities to deal with a diverse range of cases and complexities in partnership with specialty services such as Foetal Medicine, Anaesthesia, Critical care, high risk, painless labour, Gynaecological surgeries for fibroid, prolapsed, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, Laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgeries