D&C ???

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Joined: 07/06/07
Posts: 20
D&C ???

When I went to the doctor the other day and found there was no baby. The doctor said I would m/c. She said to come back monday and if I hadn't started to m/c by then that we would talk about a d/c. I'm completly ignorant to what it involves. I know I'll ask plenty of questions to the Dr. But I wanted to go armed with info.
Is it completly neccesary? How long possibly would I have to wait to m/c on my own. I'm around 8 1/2 weeks now. Is it like surgery?...for some reason I'm envisioning something like a Pap smear, but I know its got to be much more than that. How long would I have to wait to TTC again? Please give me any info that you have, if its not too painful to share. I just want to make the best choice I can. Of course I'll research online, but I'd also like to hear from other women who have had it done.

Joined: 06/01/06
Posts: 174

It's me again, I had a d&c done, simply because I did not want to wait to m/c at home. It was not necessary, but I did not want to drag it out more than I needed to. It was an easy procedure for me. I went to the hospital, had the procedure done and was home by later in the day. It was more emotionally traumatic for me than physically traumatic honestly.
I don't think you need to wait to TTC.

Joined: 10/09/04
Posts: 74

I've not opted for the d&c, but all my m/c have been 'missed' so it has always been offered. First time I m/c within 1 week of my scan, but it was about 4 weeks after the baby died. Second time I took medical treatment - first misoprostol (cytotec), then 48 hours later mifepristone (mifeprex) and the miscarriage happened that day (that was about 2 weeks after the baby died). This time I waited and I m/c again 1 week after my scan, but 4 weeks after the baby died.

Unless you have an infection or you are bleeding very heavily, then there isn't a medical reason for having a d&c, though it does make things happen more quickly and you don't have the cramps that you get with a natural or medical miscarriage. It's usually done under a short general anaesthetic, so you shouldn't feel anything more than the anaesthetic effects. It is surgery, but surgery without any cutting because the womb is accessed through the cervix. These days it is mainly a d&e that is actually carried out, though a lot of people still refer to a d&c. The d&c uses a sharp instrument that scrapes the lining of the womb as well as taking out the gestation sac/placenta/foetus. A d&e uses a soft suction catheter and all the tissue is taken out by suction. The advantage is that it eliminates the risk of Asherman's syndrome which is something that used to happen with the sharper instrument where the lining of the womb was damaged and didn't grow back properly after the procedure leading to a thinner area and problems getting pregnant because the baby couldn't implant in the thinner lining. I don't believe anyone is still carrying out the actual d&c, but it would be worth clarifying with your doc.

As for TTC I'm not sure of the evidence, though it does seem that many people are advised to wait until after their first AF to make sure that the womb lining has recovered.

Sorry, I seem to have written a textbook! If you have any other questions or anything is unclear, just post or PM me.


Lace's picture
Joined: 11/20/03
Posts: 27

I had a D&C in June and they advised me to wait 2-3 cycles before TTC.

allyinthevalley's picture
Joined: 01/31/08
Posts: 66

I had one in July. It wasn't bad, but I don't think that the doctor did a particularly good job with mine. There was some serious bruising and I was sore for a week or two. PLUS my cervix was torn from it. I don't know what she did wrong, but I wasn't very happy with it. If you get one done, it is nice to know that the physical aspect of your mc is over and you can get on with healing, but make sure that your doctor is one that you know you can trust.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I am so very sorry for your loss. There are two options for a D&C being under general or what they call "conscious sedation". When they use conscious sedation you are awake but given pain medications. IMHO, I would choose general if it is an option as I could not emotionally deal with the thought of watching what was going on.

I have had a natural loss and D&Cs. I found the recovery time from a D&C is quicker, again this was just in my case.

Talk to your doctor about waiting. Each doctor has his/her own rules about how long one should wait to try again.

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

I have had two d&cs. The first, same as yours, for a blighted ovum. I went to my 9wk appt and there was just a 6wk sac. They had me wait one week to do another u/s to be sure that there was no baby still growing etc (I knew otherwise). Then I wanted to wait for a natural m/c. Surgery scared the crap out of me. My ob advised to he did not want me to wait more than 2wks after finding out. That gave me one week to miscarry naturally. Honestly, it was torture. I had some decent spotting and canceled a dentist appt, cause I was sure it was starting, then nothing. I woke up once in the middle of the night with horrible cramps (almost like labor) and waited and canceled things that day, sure again that it would start. I made it through that week and called to schedule the appt, and it ended up being about another week before I could get in.

Anyhow, I had the surgery done, scared, but very nice staff. General anesthesia, the not eating really sucks, because your body still thinks it is pregnant, and you are hungry. The surgery itself is about 30min, and I was out within 5 min of being brought to the operating room. I was in recovery for about 45min, just long enough to empty an iv bag of fluids before I could go home. My advice, take the pain meds. It is somewhat painful after, and better to stay on top of the pain. I was super emotional, more on the ornery side, and took it out on my sisters who were staying with me to help me, but I think that may have just been the percocet, it does crazy things to me. lol. I bled for about 10 days and spotted for 3-4 days after that.

The second time when I found out the baby had died I was ready for a d&c right then. The emotional torture of waiting to miscarry was too much for me. Thankfully I was able to get in within 2 days of finding out. Same procedure, same recovery.

My ob advised to wait 2 cycles (each time) before trying again. I believe it is because they do suction out the uterine lining, moreso than is shed in a normal af cycle, so that gives your body time to heal and uterus time to rebuild that lining. I waffled somewhat on waiting the whole 2 months, but for me it came down to if it should happen again, I wanted one less reason to blame myself.

Hugs Ashley, I hope you are finding some support and comfort. You should come join us at trying to conceive after a loss.

If you have any questions, feel free to pm me.

Joined: 04/21/06
Posts: 96

I had a DC when I was M/C Abby. I was bleeding very heavly. The surgery part was pretty simple except my doctor was having trouble getting the bleeding under control. (((hugs))) I am so sorry for your loss. Tori

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852


How are you doing? Any more thoughts or questions we can help you with to make things a little easier?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I had a D&E (like a PP explained its the suction version, but everyone refers to it as a D&C still) They got me in the next day after I found out. I went in to get an US with light bleeding that started brown and ended with a light red spotting. It was easier for me to know that there would be a definate end to my non existing pregnancy than a natural MC would have been. I just couldnt handle knowing that it could take a couple of weeks or not at all and I would end up back in the hospital anyhow. It was amazingly fast and easy. The recovery was easy, we even went to Target to pick up some codiene/tylenol that day and I just needed to hold on to a cart and my DH for some stability (still woosy from the anethesia Wink ) but was physically fine. It wasnt until a couple days later that I got more crampy. I think its because I was over doing it and made myself that way. The bleeding was very minimal, less than an AF in my case. Emotionally it was easier for me to know it was over. I was still angry about it. I still am!

I hope you are able to make a decision.