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Dilation and Curettage (D&C) (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Call the doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (more than 100.4 F or 38 C)
  • Severe persistent pain or cramps not relieved by ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Prolonged or heavy bleeding (more than 6 hours, or requiring a change of sanitary pads several times in 1 hour)
  • A foul-smelling discharge from the vagina

If you cannot reach your doctor about any of the problems, go to a hospital emergency department. If you become lightheaded or pass out, you should have someone take you to an emergency department because this may indicate excess blood loss. If you feel very ill, have a high fever, or severe dilation and curettage, it may be best to go directly to an emergency department by EMS.

What Follow-up is Needed for Dilation and Curettage?

After a D&C, the patient will generally get a list of instructions with the following suggestions:

  • Avoid intercourse for 2 weeks. The dilated cervix needs a chance to shrink back to normal size. Until this time, bacteria can easily get into the uterus and cause infection.
  • Use only sanitary pads for bleeding. Avoid tampons for at least 2 weeks. Do not use douches.
  • Be sure to return for the follow-up visit with the doctor. At this time, the doctor can discuss all lab reports on your tissue samples. The doctor will also want to examine you for any signs of infection and to make sure your cervix has returned to normal size.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2017

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