Dilation and curettage is usually very safe, and complications are rare. However, there are risks. These include:

  • Perforation of the uterus. Perforation of the uterus occurs when a surgical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus. This happens more often in women who were recently pregnant and in women who have gone through menopause. Most perforations heal on their own. However, if a blood vessel or other organ is damaged, a second procedure may be necessary to repair it.
  • Damage to the cervix. If the cervix is torn during the D&C, your doctor can apply pressure or medicine to stop the bleeding, or can close the wound with stitches (sutures).
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall. Rarely, a D&C results in development of scar tissue in the uterus, a condition known as Asherman's syndrome. Asherman's syndrome happens most often when the D&C is done after a miscarriage or delivery. This can lead to abnormal, absent or painful menstrual cycles, future miscarriages and infertility.
  • Infection. Infection after a D&C is possible, but rare.

Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following after a D&C:

  • Bleeding that's heavy enough that you need to change pads every hour
  • Light bleeding that lasts longer than two weeks
  • Fever
  • Cramps lasting more than 48 hours
  • Pain that gets worse instead of better
  • Foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
Feb. 15, 2014