Dilation and Curettage (D&C) for Bleeding During Menopause
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a
surgical procedure used to locate and treat the cause of sudden, heavy
bleeding. It is done by passing a small instrument called a curette through the
vagina into the uterus and scraping the
After menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often prescribed to resupply the body with the hormones it no longer produces. Discuss this with your doctor. As with any medication, there are risks and benefits, and each woman should decide if HRT is the right choice for her.
HRT typically consists of an estrogen/progestin supplement -- usually given orally or through a skin patch or gel. Estrogen is the component that treats hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and increased risk of heart disease...
Intercourse, douching, and the use of tampons are not
usually permitted for 2 weeks.
Your next menstrual period may be
early or late.
Why It Is Done
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is
used to diagnose and treat bleeding problems. It is used to control sudden,
heavy vaginal bleeding that is causing heavy blood loss (hypovolemia) or a low
number of red blood cells (anemia). D&C is the quickest way to stop active
bleeding in the uterus.
D&C is one method used to get a tissue
sample for testing. For example, a
postmenopausal woman who has vaginal bleeding is
usually tested for signs of
How Well It Works
D&C usually temporarily stops heavy
biopsy of uterine tissue can be obtained for diagnosis
and to eliminate other possible causes of heavy menstrual
The hospital or surgery center
may send you instructions on how to get ready for your surgery or a nurse may
call you with instructions before your surgery.
surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where nurses will care for and
observe you. You will likely stay in the recovery area for 1 to 4 hours, and
then you will go home. In addition to any special instructions from your
doctor, your nurse will explain information to help you during your recovery.
You will likely go home with a sheet of care instructions including who to
contact if a problem arises.