Dilatation and curettage (D & C or uterine evacuation)

• Dilatation and curettage (D & C) may be necessary to
   investigate abnormal, heavy or irregular bleeding, or to
   remove what are called the 'products of conception'
   following miscarriage.

• Nowadays, a hysteroscopy to examine the lining of the
   uterus is often carried out before a D & C. This involves
   passing a small, fibre-optic 'telescope' along the vagina
   and through the cervix in order to examine the lining of
   the uterus.

• D & C is usually performed under a general anaesthetic
   as a day-case procedure and takes about 15 minutes.

• The cervix is dilated with a smooth instrument called a
   dilator. A curette, which is a small, spoon-shaped
   instrument, is then passed through the cervix to remove
   the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium). The
   tissue is then sent to the laboratory to be examined.

• Patients usually recover rapidly, but may experience
   discomfort similar to a period pain for a few hours after
   the procedure. There may also be a small amount of
   bleeding, which may last 1-2 days.