When Your OBGYN Recommends A D&C For Abnormal Bleeding

So many women struggle with abnormal bleeding. Maybe your period comes too often. Or maybe when it comes, it is exceedingly heavy or lasts for more than a week. All of these are problems you should bring up to your OBGYN. When you do, they will likely recommend a treatment for abnormal bleeding. One common treatment is called a D&C, and here's a closer look at what that treatment involves.

What is a D&C?

D&C is an abbreviation that stands for "dilation and curettage." This is a procedure in which the cervix is dilated and your OBGYN uses tools to physically remove built up tissue and blood from the uterine lining. This may sound scary, but rest assured — you will either be sedated or given general anesthesia during the procedure, so you won't feel any pain or know what's going on. 

How does a D&C treat abnormal bleeding?

A D&C helps address abnormal bleeding in two ways. First, it physically removes the tissue that your body would be ejecting before your body has a chance to eject it. Second, it removes any polyps or fibroids, which frequently cause or contribute to abnormal bleeding. This can help ensure your body does not return to its abnormal bleeding patterns in the months that follow your D&C.

How long do the results last?

Some women have one D&C and never deal with abnormal bleeding again. This is often the case if fibroids were to blame and the procedure removes them. Other women do find that their periods become heavier or longer again as time goes on. This can sometimes indicate that the issue was due to a hormonal balance that needs to be corrected. Other times, it can indicate that you have developed new fibroids or polyps. Your OBGYN may recommend another D&C, or they might recommend a different treatment, like hormone supplements, if your abnormal bleeding returns.

What is it like to recover from a D&C?

Some women avoid this procedure because they are afraid the recovery will be painful. However, most patients really only need one or two days of rest after a D&C. You might have some mild cramping for a day or two afterward, but this should be controlled with pain relievers. Some patients have mild nausea from the anesthesia, but many do not.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what a D&C involves and how it treats abnormal bleeding. If you have any other concerns, talk to your OBGYN about abnormal bleeding treatments.