Dilation and curettage (D&C)

A dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure that is done to remove tissue from inside the uterus. During a D&C, the vagina is spread open, and a scraping or suction instrument is passed through the cervix and into the uterus to remove tissue from the lining of the uterus (endometrium).

A D&C may be done to:

  • Remove tissue that remains after a woman has had a miscarriage.
  • Remove tissue that may be causing abnormal vaginal bleeding. The tissue can then be examined for any abnormalities.
  • End a pregnancy (abortion).

A D&C is usually done in a hospital without requiring an overnight stay. Pain medication is given before the procedure. Many women choose to have a general anesthetic that makes them unconscious during the procedure.

Last Updated: May 7, 2009

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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