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Dilation and Curettage (D&C)


Dilation of the cervical os and curettage of the lining of the uterus is called D&C. The procedure used to diagnose or treat many conditions that cause abnormal bleeding from the uterus. It also can be used to help detect cancer of the uterus. D&C also may be used following an incomplete miscarriage to evacuate the uterus from pregnancy tissues. Complications are rare. When they do occur, they include bleeding, infection, or perforation (when the tip of an instrument passes through the wall of the uterus). If perforation occurs, nearby organs may be damaged and further surgery may be required. You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following: heavy bleeding from the vagina, fever,pain in the abdomen, foul-smelling discharge from the vagina. In rare cases, after a D&C for miscarriage, bands of scar tissue, or adhesions, may form inside the uterus. This is called Asherman's syndrome. These adhesions may cause infertility and changes in menstrual flow. In most women, Asherman's syndrome can be treated successfully with surgery. After a D&C, a new lining will build up in the uterus. Your next menstrual period may not occur at the regular time. It may be early or late. Until your cervix returns to its normal size, bacteria can enter the uterus and cause infection. It is important not to put anything into your vagina after the procedure. Ask your doctor when you can have sex or use tampons again.


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