Curettage is a surgical procedure that involves scraping some tissues, usually the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), either to clean debris or to remove a tissue sample. Curettage is usually known as the procedure that is performed after a spontaneous abortion since it is necessary to clean the uterus of the remains of the pregnancy not reached term, but it also serves as a diagnosis of some diseases. It does not usually have major complications or affect fertility, in addition to that the woman will be able to return to doing daily activities in a short time. However, as it is a surgical procedure, it requires anesthesia and postoperative care. In this FastlyHealarticle we tell you about the care after a curettage, what to do and how to act.
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How to do a curettage
It is usually done on an outpatient basis and does not require hospitalization, although if it is just after delivery, there will be hospitalization, although not for that reason. It is a very simple intervention that lasts between 15-30 minutes and requires local or regional anesthesia.
The specialist must first dilate the cervical canal, for which he usually uses a speculum. Then, he will insert an instrument called a curettage with which he will scrape the lining of the uterus to remove any remaining tissues. It is advisable to rest 24 hours.
Why is a curettage done?
Curettage usually uses general anesthesia and therefore a hospital stay will be required for the procedure. Although its most common and well-known use is to clean the uterus of the remains of a miscarriage, the truth is that curettage is used in other situations:
- As a diagnosis of endometrial cancer : A curettage can help detect if there are signs of malignancy in the endometrium. It is not very common but it usually occurs in women once they reach menopause.
- Treatment of irregular or heavy menstruation : when very irregular menstruations or excessive bleeding occur, curettage can be performed to detect if there are signs of malignancy in the endometrium.
- To remove the IUD : The intrauterine device ( IUD ) is a contraceptive method that is placed inside the uterus. Sometimes it is retained by the endometrium and it is impossible to remove it naturally. To do this, a curettage is performed and the endometrial tissue that has trapped it is removed.
- Treatment of endometrial polyps and fibroids : Uterine polyps and fibroids are abnormal formations that are created in the endometrium. They are not usually malignant or a form of cancer, but sometimes they do cause fertile problems or even abortions. In these cases, curettage is carried out to eliminate them.
- Carry out induced or therapeutic abortions : throughout the first trimester, the pregnancy can be interrupted by a curettage either at the mother’s will, because the fetus will not be able to reach the end or due to the health risk of the mother.
In cases of spontaneous abortion, curettage is performed when the entire embryo has not been expelled (complete abortion) and there are still remains (missed abortion). It is only used in the first trimester, afterwards it is necessary to resort to other more aggressive techniques. Curettage is necessary so that infections do not occur. In the following FastlyHealarticle we give you more information about curettage: what it is and how to prepare .
Recovery after curettage
Since it is a surgical procedure, rest will be needed 24 hours after a curettage . You should stay in bed or sitting. In this time you can suffer:
- Pains in the abdomen
- Back pain
- Pelvic pain
For all this, it is common for the doctor to prescribe painkillers. After this time it is advisable to walk and move and you can return to normal life and perform daily activities as soon as you are well .
Consequences and complications of a curettage
Do not worry if there are vaginal bleeding during the two weeks after curettage, it is normal since the tissue has been scraped and it is normal for it to be delicate and blood. However, the bleeding should not be excessive , if you suffer from very heavy bleeding, or with clots, or you get dizzy you should go immediately to the emergency room.
The menstrual cycle has to be re-regulated but it will take a while. The normal thing is that two and six weeks after the curettage you will have a regular menstruation again, unless it is a woman with menopause. For at least the first month the use of tampons is not recommended , better compresses.
However, despite vaginal bleeding, ovulation can occur earlier so you should use precautions in sexual intercourse. But you should keep in mind that intimate relationships are not recommended during the first two weeks after curettage.
For intimate hygiene you should do it normally, but you should not do vaginal douches and you should avoid bathing, better a shower. Exercise or intense physical effort must also be avoided during the first days.
Probabilities of pregnancy after a curettage
One of the most frequent questions that arise after a curettage, especially when it has been performed after an abortion, is whether it affects fertility or possible future pregnancies. Will I be able to get pregnant again? Will I have another abortion?
The point is that curettage is not very aggressive and therefore after this procedure the chances of getting pregnant again are the same as for women of the same age, that is, it does not affect fertility nor is it a problem for future pregnancies . However, it also depends a lot on the physical conditions of the woman.
If the abortion was caused by a disease, you will have to take this into account and go to the corresponding gynecologist or specialist doctor to treat the pathology since this could mean a new abortion, depending on the disease.
It should be borne in mind that after a curettage you should wait at least three months (90 days) before seeking a new pregnancy as long as menstruation has returned naturally and without complications and there have been two entire menstrual cycles without any complications. .
After this time, the pregnancy can be tried again, however curettage after an abortion, or simply abortion, are very hard psychological processes and therefore the emotional sensitivity of the woman can influence when looking for a new pregnancy and it will always depend on each one.
It is important to wait long enough until you are ready to get pregnant again.
Symptoms after a curettage
Although it is normal to suffer colic the first days and vaginal bleeding during the first or two weeks, there are certain symptoms that you should take into account and go to the emergency doctor if they happen. These are:
- Vaginal discharge with a bad odor, foul odor, or abnormal discharge.
- Cramps or cramps that are too intense.
- Heavy or clotted bleeding.
After a curettage, it is essential to carry out some control during the first month. Normally, it will be the doctor himself who will give you an appointment for the next fifteen days and in this way he can check how the recovery is progressing. The tests that you could do are ultrasound, exploration or pregnancy test to verify that the curettage was done well and there are no residues (in the case of an abortion).
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Care after a curettage , we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.