One of the hardest things for someone to go through is a miscarriage. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. If you have had a miscarriage during the first few months of pregnancy, your doctor might recommend a dilation and curettage (D&C). This procedure removes the remaining tissue from your uterus. Here are some things to know about this procedure.
A D&C is Optional
The first thing you should know about this type of procedure is that in many cases it is optional. When you have a miscarriage, you are often given the choice to let the tissue pass naturally. However, this can take quite a bit of time, sometimes days or even weeks. There is also the risk of developing an infection if some of the tissue remains in the uterus. You should see your doctor when you think all the tissue has passed just to be sure. Agreeing to a D&C allows this part of the miscarriage to be over so you can move on from it.
You Will be Asleep
The D&C procedure is typically done during the first trimester of pregnancy. You are put to sleep just before a D&C procedure begins. While it is a quick outpatient procedure, sleeping through the procedure is best for your comfort level. After you get the anesthesia and are completely asleep, your cervix will be dilated and the surgeon will use tools to remove the remaining tissue from your cervix. Once the procedure is completed, you are sent to a recovery room until you wake up from the anesthesia.
You Will Have Some Cramping and Bleeding Afterward
Expect to have some side effects from the procedure for a few days following the procedure. For the first few hours, you may have some cramping from having your cervix dilated and from the tissue removal process. It is not uncommon to have spotting or bleeding. The bleeding may be close to a light period or heavier, and it could last days or even weeks. Let your doctor know if the bleeding or pain suddenly worsens or lasts a long time.
There Are Minor Risks
A D&C is a very common procedure performed on women who have a miscarriage. However, there are some minor risks associated with the procedure that you should be aware of before you have the procedure performed. These risks include adverse reactions to the anesthesia used, hemorrhaging, infection, and scarring. There is also a small risk of perforation of the uterus or weakening of the cervix.
Talk to your gynecologist to determine whether or not you should undergo this procedure.