Dilation and curettage, also known as D and C, is often used to diagnose or treat abnormal uterine bleeding, states WebMD. A D and C may help diagnose or treat growths such as fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, hormonal imbalances or uterine cancer. It is also used to remove tissue during or after a miscarriage.
Dilation and curettage is a minor surgical procedure that involves dilating or opening the cervix, which is the opening to the uterus, explains Healthline. Once the cervix is dilated, a doctor uses a spoon-shaped curette to remove tissue from the inner lining of the uterus. The procedure is also used to perform elective abortions; remove an intrauterine device, which is a form of birth control; and remove infected tissue often related to a sexually transmitted disease called pelvic inflammatory disease.
A D and C is considered a very low-risk, minimally invasive procedure, according to Healthline. Some potential side effects and risks include anesthesia-related problems with the heart and lungs; damage to the uterus or cervix that may result in heavy bleeding; foul-smelling discharge from the vagina; severe pain; fever; and chills. Patients should seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms arise. The most common side effects are tiredness and light cramping for a day or two.