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Dilatation & Curettage (D & C)

Dilatation & Curettage

During dilatation and curettage also called D & C is where the lining of the uterus is scraped to remove tissue.

Usually D&C is done for one of the following reasons:

  • To diagnose and possibly treat abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • To perform an abortion · to treat an incomplete miscarriage or abortion
  • To diagnose and possibly treat vaginal bleeding after childbirth
  • To help detect cancer of the uterus
  • To help evaluate some cases or infertility, or inability to have children

In some cases, a sample of the uterine lining is taken before D&C is done. This is called an endometrial biopsy. Or Hysteroscopy procedure with a tiny telescope, called a hysteroscope, may be used before D&C. This allows a doctor to look at the lining of the cervix and uterus before doing the D&C.


Complications following D&C are rare and may include: 

  • Reactions to medicines, such as anaesthesia, pain relievers and antibiotics
  • Problems with the anaesthetic, such as allergies or other reactions and difficulty waking up or
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or passage of clots
  • Infection of the uterine lining, pelvic organs or the surrounding area
  • Developing a hole in the uterus.
  • Scarring of the uterus from too much scraping
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Puncture of the uterus