A speculum and curette are used to perform a dilation and curettage, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dilation and curettage, commonly called a D&C, is a procedure used to scrape the lining of the uterus.
During a dilation and curettage, the doctor or other health care professional uses a speculum to spread apart the walls of the vagina. Once the vaginal walls have been separated, the doctor uses a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette to scrape the tissue lining the uterus. This procedure is used to diagnose and treat the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. Dilation and curettage is also used to remove the contents of the uterus after a miscarriage or live birth.
Cervical rods and a uterine sound are also used to perform a dilation and curettage. In some cases, it is necessary to use a tenaculum, which is a type of forceps. Cervical rods gradually dilate the uterus so the doctor can insert the curette. A uterine sound is used to determine the length of the uterus. The tenaculum is used to prevent the cervix from moving around during the procedure.
The risks of dilation and curettage include infection, heavy bleeding, perforation of the uterus or bowel and the development of scar tissue in the uterus.