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Dilation and Curettage (D&C) for Miscarriage

Topic Overview

A dilation and curettage (D&C) is a surgical procedure in which the cervix is opened (dilated) and tissue is removed from the uterus. D&C is the most effective treatment for a miscarriage that is causing severe bleeding.

Your doctor will use a tool called a speculum to spread apart the walls of your vagina. He or she will then use a tool called a dilator to open the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of your uterus that opens into your vagina. Then the doctor will use a curved tool called a curette to gently scrape tissue from the uterus. The curette may be hollow and attached to a vacuum that helps remove the tissue. The procedure usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

A D&C can be done in a hospital or clinic. General anesthesia or local anesthesia can be used. And a D&C can usually be done on an outpatient basis, which means that an overnight stay in the hospital is not required.

Risks linked to D&C are rare, but they include:

  • Possible reactions to anesthetic medicines.
  • Infection.
  • Puncture (perforation) of the uterus.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of June 4, 2014

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