How To Understand the Dilation and Curettage Abortion Procedure

Dilation and curettage, also called D&C, is a medical abortion procedure that involves dilating the woman's uterus before inserting a spoon-like apparatus called the curette. D&C is a method done at the first trimester of the pregnancy but is rarely applied for abortion. The objective of the procedure is to scrape empty the uterus and the cervical lining. D&C is a minor surgery that will last for about 10 to 15 minutes and taken with general anesthetic.

Here are some guides on how to understand the D& C procedure better:

  • Purpose of D&C. It is important to know that D&C is a medical procedure that is also used to identify certain illnesses and treat irregular bleeding in the uterus. It is NOT only done to end pregnancy. Doctors strongly advise that women who had a miscarriage should undergo this procedure. The two major types of D&C are:
  • Evacuation D& C. This normally performed in a lately pregnant woman to take away remaining tissues in the womb.
  • Gynecological D&C. This is an investigatory part of finding out why patients experience irregular periods or bleeding in the vagina that often happens after menopause.
  • Where D&C is performed. D&C must be performed only in hospitals and out-patient clinics. You need to confine the patients for several hours until they recover.
  • Preparing for D&C. After the patient undergoes internal examination by the doctor, she has to wait several hours, six hours at the very least. It is also important to get the patient tested with allergies. Patients should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol a day before the operation. Prior to the operation, since the procedure does not require an overnight stay in the hospital or clinic, a patient must make arrangements with someone who can drive her home after recovery.
  • What to expect after the surgery. There are no cuts and stitches so there will be no scars. This is probably what most women are always afraid of when they discuss surgeries. There will be signs of manageable pain like dysmenorrhea. The doctor usually prescribes Panadol to the patients to reduce pain. Patients may also experience light bleeding after the procedure for a variable number of days. Patients should not drive immediately after recovery because the anesthesia provisionally affects coordination and reaction time.
  • The risks. There are no potential risks if only a certified doctor performs the procedure. D&Cs are safe and trouble free. Even with D&C, potential pregnancies may continue, as most would think.

The words "Dilating" and "Scraping" are the operative words here. It is never a fun procedure to have any utensil inside you. So it is nothing but important to understand why women undergo D&C procedures or any kind of medical procedure before taking it yourself. Also, like any other medical procedure, it is imperative to undergo some tests or even re-tests with a certified doctor and discuss any concerns before undergoing the procedure.


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