Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Doctors perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.
The main questions I had before the procedure and was looking for answers online and from friends who might know someone who went through it were:
- How the procedure looks
- Is it painful
- Whats the downtime
- How long Im unconscious
- What impact does it have on me and why it’s needed
- Why I didn’t have miscarriage (wasn’t bleeding). What is silent miscarriage?
Here is my case, what my doctors and nurses told me during the procedure.
I came for my first OBGYN visit at 11 weeks since my last menstrual period. Doctor told me some basics about pregnancy:
- take prenatal vitamins
- you can color your hair and nails
- you can have sex
And then she did sonogram/ultrasound (same thing). I had trans-vaginal sonogram and its not at all scary as it’s described online, nothing painful, if you can handle dick inside you, you can handle this too. No pain and the visuals on the screen were much clearer then the abdominal ultrasound I did in another place next day.
So even though my urine sample from the day of the OBGYN visit was showing that I am pregnant, doctor told me there is no heartbeat and the baby stopped developing 3 weeks ago. Doctor see this based on the measurements on the scanner.
Doctor measures your uterus and fetus (baby) and both measurements give you an estimate of which week of pregnancy you are in. Usually when looking at sonogram pictures you see that a baby occupies 50% of the uterus. In week 11 my uterus was at 100mm, and the baby should be at 50mm, but it was only 14mm, which suggests that the baby stopped developing in week 8.
She told me I have 2 choices, I can either take a pill and bleed in pain and cramps for 3h or I can come for d&c procedure that I will be in complete anesthesia and everything from my uterus will be removed within 5 mins.
You have to have everything removed if you don’t want any infection, bleeding and want to get pregnant again in the future.
The cost of the pill and procedure is the same- in my case $145.
OBGYN visit was $175, sonogram $275 and procedure $145, still awaiting bill for the bloodwork, which in my opinion is completely useless, as results come after the procedure and all they really wanted to know was my blood type, which I knew and just told them. Bloodwork estimated cost is $80.
All costs I paid are out of pocket without insurance.
I scheduled my procedure in 2 days as I wanted to do additional ultrasound next day in other place, just to be sure.
On the day of my visit I arrived 7:30am, was advised not to eat or drink, but I told them I had 4 sips of water at 6am. They made me wait additional hour so I went for the procedure at 10am. Before that I had another abdominal ultrasound done, got my pulse check and spoke with a counsel who told me what to expect.
She said, nothing goes to vagina for min 3 weeks: no tampons, dick, toys, also only take shower, no baths. This is to minimize the risk of infection.
You can expect bleeding for 2 weeks right after the procedure, if you need to change pad every 2h, then you should go back to your doctor.
Your next period will be in around 6 weeks from the procedure.
She also asked if I want to do genetic testing to see what might have been the reason for the miscarriage. It’s not necessary, but it is advised on the second miscarriage. I opted out, as the chances of miscarriage in 1 trimester are around 20% and I know that my grandmother had a miscarriage before she had my mother and then my aunt, so I don’t think there is nothing out of ordinary and I personally was under lots of stress at the time of miscarriage. Cost of genetic testing is around $300.
In the operation room I had got the anesthesia, felt weird taste in my throat and immediately fell asleep. When I got woken up I felt super bad. I felt dizzy, my head was spinning I felt I want to throw up I had severe cramps. In the after procedure room there were 5 more ladies and all of them looked normal, felt normal, ate, was on their phones looking pain-free.
There was a lot of cookies and I was told to eat it as I am getting painkillers and I need to eat before they can let me go. I had a glass of apple juice, took 2 painkillers and ate a cookie. I felt super bad, wanted to fall asleep. They noticed immediately that I am not feeling well so they did another vaginal ultrasound, I got 2 more tylenols and a bag to throw up. Once I throw up I felt much better, started eating and within 15 mins was out.
I got antibiotic(doxycycline) to take for 5 days and ibuprofen- only when in pain. So far I didn’t have to use ibuprofen at all, and haven’t felt any pain since.
Its a common practice to do a check within 2-3 weeks so they can check on ultrasound if everything got removed.
My OBGYN who I visited and also did my procedure was dr Inga Zilberstein from Eastside Gynecology in NYC. The other ultrasound I did next day was at Sono Baby Studio and I only paid $108 compared to $275 at Eastside Gynecology- where the sonogram is done by doctor. Both places are in midtown manhattan in NYC.
This article is for information purposes only. Your doctor can give you different advice. I wrote it only to help people who look for this information, find it all in one place as it took me a lot of time on online search and the information wasn’t accurate based on my experience.
To sum up and respond to my questions:
- How the procedure looks: you lie on the gyn bed, get your legs up and you get anesthesia, then you wake up.
- Is it painful: procedure- no you are sleeping, not feel anything, you can feel pain after you wake up, but they wont let you leave in pain, you will get painkillers, bag to throw up and this helps.
- Whats the downtime: you should rest that day and next day you can go back to your normal activities and just make sure to not lift heavy objects, take it easy
- How long I’m unconscious: 10 mins
- What impact does it have on me and why it’s needed: you have to have everything removed from uterus as it wold be hard to get pregnant again with leftovers from the previous pregnancy
- Why I didn’t have miscarriage: it says it can take up to 8 weeks after the hear-beat stopped till you get miscarriage- start bleeding
- What is silent miscarriage: it’s when you were not bleeding, didn’t feel something is wrong and only found out that the baby is no longer developing thanks to sonogram. In my case I didn’t feel nothing alerting and was surprised when I learned I had silent miscarriage at the obgyn office. During pregnancy you experience cramps so it’s possible that you didn’t connect it to miscarriage.
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