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How Long After a Dilation and Curettage Can You Try to Conceive?

When you are ready to have a family, it is typical to be concerned about possible obstacles to conceiving. You may be concerned about your age, your medical history, and a variety of other considerations, such as whether or not you have previously had a D&C, or dilation and curettage. As with any medical operation, your healthcare professional will discuss the advantages, dangers, and recovery time required before you may begin trying to conceive or attempt to conceive again.

What Is a Curettage and Dilation?

A dilation and curettage is a surgical treatment that has several applications, including identifying irregular bleeding or other disorders affecting the uterus, and removing tissue from the uterus after a miscarriage.

The operation begins with the dilatation or extension of the cervix, the long, thin end of the uterus that links to the vagina. After that, the doctor will use a curette, a thin spoon-shaped device, to scrape and remove the uterine lining.

It is possible to do a D&C at an OB office, outpatient surgical facility, or hospital.

After undergoing a D&C, you often do not need to worry about your ability to get pregnant. Dr Shahin Ghadir, an OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist from the Southern California Reproductive Center, says, “If a woman is concerned that a D&C would damage her fertility, I reassure her that she should not worry. A D&C operation should be performed with the utmost care and should not cause any damage to the uterus or the lady if performed by trained professionals.”

What Does Recovery After a D&C Entail?

As with any operation, a recovery time must be endured. The kind of surgery and anaesthetic used will most likely impact your recovery.

The kind of anaesthesia used after surgery will determine whether you may return home the same day or must spend the night in the hospital. If you undergo local anaesthetic, you may just need to relax for a few hours following the treatment before being driven home. However, if you get regional or general anaesthesia, you may be required to spend time in the recovery area, where your blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate will be monitored. You may be sent home or transferred to a hospital ward depending on your condition and the anaesthetic used.

After that, you must allow your body to recuperate.

“During the healing period after a D&C, a woman might anticipate enduring spotting and cramps,” explains Dr Ghadir. This is because the uterus is regaining its usual size and shape. Other than that, there are few symptoms throughout this era.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, D&C procedures are usually totally safe (ASRM).

However, the ASRM adds there are certain concerns to consider. Infection, perforation of the uterus, and the formation of scar tissue inside the uterus are all potential consequences, in addition to significant postoperative bleeding.

It may indicate something is amiss if you begin to suffer severe and escalating stomach discomfort. Dr Ghadir also recommends checking for any warning signals, such as fever, chills, or heavy, persistent bleeding, since these may indicate the need for urgent treatment. Notify your healthcare professional immediately if you encounter anything unusual or suspect anything wrong.

How Soon After a D&C Can I Become Pregnant?

After a D&C, you may be eager to start trying to conceive (or conceive again). However, your healthcare professional may recommend waiting until your body has healed and prepared for pregnancy. After a D&C, you must refrain from vaginal contact for at least four weeks, although full healing may take longer.

“It is suggested that most women wait between one and three menstrual cycles following a loss before trying to conceive again,” says Dr Ghadir. The waiting time allows the uterine lining to shed and become healthy again.

In rare cases, Rudy Quintero, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and the founder and medical director of CARE Fertility, advises that having a D&C should not affect your capacity to conceive in the future. For instance, intrauterine adhesions or scar tissue in the uterus are sometimes referred to as Asherman syndrome. This may interfere with your ability to conceive.

Concerns About Pregnancy After a D&C

While getting a D&C may not hinder your capacity to become pregnant again, evidence shows that a history of D&Cs may raise the likelihood of premature birth in a subsequent pregnancy.

A 2016 meta-analysis assessed the risk of preterm deliveries among women who underwent a D&C for a miscarriage or pregnancy termination in the first trimester. They discovered that these women were more likely to have premature births in the future. The study’s authors cautioned against choosing a D&C without evaluating other choices.

Avoiding unnecessary D&C might prevent future preterm births, the researchers noted. Non-invasive management approaches, such as expectant management or medical treatment in the event of a miscarriage, and medical management in the event of pregnancy termination, are effective alternatives.

Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have any queries about whether a D&C is the best surgery for your case. Depending on your medical history and future pregnancy intentions, they may recommend the optimal course of action.

Final Thoughts

A D&C is a rather frequent treatment, yet it’s normal to feel apprehensive about having one and to question how it will affect you afterwards. In most situations, a D&C should not hinder your capacity to conceive in the future, according to experts. They recommend waiting between one and three menstrual cycles before attempting to conceive. Do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your healthcare professional.

 

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Evan Kurzyp

Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified Registered Nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

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