Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from the inside of the uterus. The doctor used a curved tool, called a curette, to gently scrape tissue from your uterus.
You are likely to have a backache, or cramps similar to menstrual cramps, and pass small clots of blood from your vagina for the first few days. You may have light vaginal bleeding for several weeks after the procedure.
You will probably be able to go back to most of your normal activities in 1 or 2 days.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
- Most women are able to return to work the day after the procedure.
- You may have some light vaginal bleeding. Use sanitary pads until you stop bleeding. Using pads makes it easier to monitor your bleeding. Do not rinse your vagina with fluid (douche).
- Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.
- You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
- Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to).
- Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. You will also get instructions about taking any new medicines.
- If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
- Be safe with medicines. Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
- If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
- If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
- If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
- Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
- Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
- If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
- You have chest pain, are short of breath, or cough up blood.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have bright red vaginal bleeding that soaks one or more pads in an hour, or you have large clots.
- You have vaginal discharge that increases in amount or smells bad.
- You are sick to your stomach or cannot drink fluids.
- You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
- You cannot pass stools or gas.
- You have symptoms of a blood clot in your leg (called a deep vein thrombosis), such as:
- Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
- Redness and swelling in your leg.
- You have signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from the area.
- Pus draining from the area.
- A fever.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.
Where can you learn more?
Enter D453 in the search box to learn more about "Dilation and Curettage: What to Expect at Home".