Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Menstrual Bleeding Irregular D and C

A woman with irregular menstrual periods may require a dilation and curettage, or D and C.

Dilation and Curettage
A dilation and curettage is a surgical procedure, during which the inner lining of the uterus is removed. Before this can be done, the cervix needs to be dilated. This allows for the passage of special surgical instruments that are used to remove the endometrium. One of these instruments is called a curette. It is used to gently scrape away the endometrial lining.

A sample of the material is sent to the laboratory for microscopic analysis. Recovery from a D and C is very rapid: you may have some vaginal bleeding and mild pain for about a day.

Risks of D and C include:

  • Persistent bleeding
  • Infection or endometritis
  • Damage to the uterus

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Last Updated: Dec 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Menstrual Bleeding Irregular References
  1. Ballard L, Lyon DS, Jones JL. Inpatients with menometrorrhagia: etiologies, treatments, and outcomes. South Med J. 2000 Jun;93(6):571-4. [10881771]
  2. Browner-Elhanan KJ, Epstein J, Alderman EM. Evaluation of irregular menses in perimenarcheal girls: a pilot study. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2003 Dec;16(6):365-8. [14642958]
  3. Haver MC, Locksmith GJ, Emmet E. Irregular menses: an independent risk factor for gestational diabetes mellitus. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 May;188(5):1189-91. [12748474]
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