Dilation and curettage (D&C)

Know what is Dilation and curettage (D&C), its purpose and post operative complications. Women mostly ask details from their Gynecologist. You may read to know it yourself.


Dr Uma Mishra, MBBS, MD, Obs & Gyn

2/2/20222 min read

What is Dilation and curettage (D&C) :

Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a gynaecological procedure in which tissue are removed from inside uterus.

This procedure, mostly performed by a Gynaecologist, is used for diagnosis and treatment of uterine conditions. It is mostly performed in cases of heavy bleeding or after a miscarriage or abortion.

The name itself suggests that it is a combination of processes- dilation and curettage. Dilation of the lower, narrow part of your uterus (cervix) is done with the help instruments or medication or both.

Curettage is then done with the help of surgical instrument called a curette. The instrument is sharp and acts as suction device. Thus, tissue removed are sucked out to remove uterine tissue.


As discussed, it can be used as a diagnostic tool or to treat some medical condition in case of presence of certain uterine conditions. The requirements vary from case to case.

Endometrial sampling or biopsy is a procedure which is done before in case of unusual uterine bleeding, bleeding after menopause or unusual endometrial cells noted during some routine test. The samples are sent to labs for testing. However, for more getting more information for diagnosis, if required, a D&C is performed. D&C is an outpatient procedure.

D&C is done to treat uterine conditions, however, there are complications which may be noted post D&C, which include Perforation of the uterus, Damage to the cervix, Scar tissue on the uterine wall, etc. Hence, for D&C you should consult experienced and certified Gynecologist only.

Complications and consultations:

Post D&C, you should contact your Gynaecologist, in case of heavy bleeding, long duration dizziness, cramps for more than 48 Hours, foul discharge or recurring pain. The instructions of the Gynaecologist before and after the procedure must be adhered to avoid the later complications.

In D&C, doctor may use a medication called misoprostol (Cytotec) orally or vaginally to soften the cervix. However, in some cases, different dilation method of inserting a laminaria made slender rod into your cervix is also used.

Recovery room stay after the D&C is typically in hours, during that you come out of effects of anaesthesia and monitoring for heavy bleeding or other complications is also done during this period.

Mild cramping, Spotting or light bleeding are expected side effects after D&C. Some medications may be provided by Gynaecologist, if required.

Performing day to day normal activities after the procedure is mostly within one to two days.

Please go for follow up appointment with your Gynaecologist in case of any complications