The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Dilation and curettage

Dilation and curettage is a gynaecological procedure performed on the female reproductive system. The procedure involves dilating the cervix and inserting instruments to clean out the lining of the uterus while the woman is under an anaesthetic. D&Cs are most commonly performed for the purposes of abortion, but this is far from the only reason that a woman may require one.

Other typical reasons for a D&C are to resolve abnormal uterine bleeding (too much, too often or too heavy a menstrual flow); to remove the excess uterine lining in women who have conditions such as PCOS which cause a prolonged buildup of tissue with no natural period to remove it; and to remove uterine fibroids or other suspected abnormalities such as premalignant cells in their uterine lining.

Other procedures include dilation and evacuation and dilation and extraction. The later is referred to, in political contexts, as partial birth abortion.

A curettage is performed with a curette. A curette is a metal rod with a handle on one end and a sharp loop on the other.

If procedure is done too rough, scar tissue may seal the uterus shut (Asherman's syndrome), resulting in infertility.

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Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46