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Dilation & Curettage (D&C)

Dilation and Curettage (D&C) may be done for several reasons:

  • Surgical abortion performed in the first trimester (up to 14 weeks)
  • Pregnancy loss
  • Incomplete miscarriage

Under local or general anesthetic, the doctor uses a suction instrument to remove the contents of the uterus.

Note: We recommend professional counseling before deciding to have this procedure.

The procedure

  • Sometimes, medicines such as oxytocin are given to cause uterine contractions and reduce bleeding.
  • Your doctor will open your cervix and insert a small tube into the uterus. He or she will then use suction to remove the tissue from the uterus.

Reasons for the procedure

  • Elective termination: You may not wish to be pregnant.
  • Therapeutic abortion: The pregnancy is endangering your health.
  • Birth defects: The fetus is not developing normally.


  • You will probably recover within a few days, depending on how far along you are. You may have a small amount of bleeding and cramping during that time.
  • There will probably be no long-term complications from this procedure.
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