If your primary concern is abnormal bleeding, you may be a candidate for a procedure called a
dilation and curettage
. The cervix is dilated wide enough to introduce a curved blade that scrapes out the lining of the uterus. The entire procedure takes about ten minutes and can be done under local anesthesia. The two main reasons for the procedure are:
To rule out endometrial cancer by obtaining a sample of endometrial tissue for examination
To reduce the thickness of the endometrium (tissue lining of the uterus), which may stop the excessive bleeding
Rare complications include:
Perforation of the uterus
is done to obtain a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. During this procedure, a small sample of endometrial tissue is flushed out through your cervix. The procedure can be done in several different ways. The tissue can be flushed out by squirting sterile liquid into your uterus or by inserting a thin instrument to take tiny samples. The discomfort is usually thought to be slightly more than that felt during a regular pelvic exam.
When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider
After the Procedure
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
website. Available at:
. Accessed March 2, 2006.
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy
. 17th ed. Merck and Co.; 1999.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a