Dilation and curettage may be performed in a hospital, clinic or your doctor's office, and it's usually done as an outpatient procedure.
Before the procedure:
- Follow your doctor's instructions on limiting food and drink.
- Arrange for someone to help you get home because you may be drowsy after the anesthesia wears off.
- Clear your schedule to allow enough time for the procedure and recovery afterward. You'll likely spend a few hours in recovery after the procedure.
In some cases, your doctor may start the process of dilating your cervix a few hours or even a day before the procedure. This helps your cervix open gradually and is usually done when your cervix needs to be dilated more than in a standard D&C, such as during pregnancy terminations or with certain types of hysteroscopy.
To promote dilation, your doctor uses a medication called misoprostol (Cytotec) — given orally or vaginally — to soften the cervix or inserts a slender rod made of laminaria into your cervix. The laminaria gradually expands by absorbing the fluid in your cervix, causing your cervix to open.
Oct. 26, 2016
- Frequently asked questions. Special procedures FAQ062. Dilation and curettage. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Dilation-and-Curettage-DandC. Accessed Aug. 9, 2016.
- Stovall DW. Dilation and curettage. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 9, 2016.
- Pfenninger JL, et al. Dilation and curettage. In: Pfenninger & Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Mosby; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 9, 2016.
- DeCherney AH, et al. Therapeutic gynecologic procedures. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Aug. 9, 2016.
- Lemmers M, et al. Dilatation and curettage increases the risk of subsequent preterm birth: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Human Reproduction. 2016;31:34.
- Sedation, analgesia and anesthesia. American Society of Anesthesiologists. https://www.asahq.org/resources/patients/patient-education-brochures. Accessed Aug. 9, 2016.
Dilation and curettage (D&C)