What is a curettage?
A curettage is an intervention performed by the gynecologist in the hospital. The intervention means that the gynecologist with a kind of spoon (curette) scrape away a layer of the mucous membrane that sits on the inside of your uterus. A curettage is performed for various reasons. Read in this blog when you can expect curettage, what exactly is happening and how the recovery is going.
When is a curettage performed?
There are several reasons why a doctor or gynecologist decides to perform a curettage. These are:
Curettage in case of severe blood loss
If you have abnormal and / or severe blood loss, there may be one curettage performed. In this case, some mucous membrane is scraped away so that it can be examined in the laboratory. In this way, the cause of blood loss can be determined. So if you suffer from one of the symptoms below, it may be that a curettage is being done.
- Heavy blood loss during menstruation
- Abnormal blood loss after sex
- Blood loss between normal menstruations
- if you lose blood after or during the transition
- Heavy blood loss after childbirth.
The uterine lining is rejected during miscarriage. It can happen that some tissue remains behind in the womb after the miscarriage. This is also called an incomplete miscarriage. In most cases, there is some tissue in the uterus that keeps you losing blood and keeps cramps. With a curettage this residual tissue can be removed.
Curettage after delivery
If the afterbirth is behind you and you still clearly suffer from significant blood loss, it is possible that there is some tissue of the placenta in the uterus. For this too a curettage is performed to remove this tissue.
Are you unwanted pregnant? If you have not yet reached 12 weeks, the fruit can be removed by means of a suction curettage. To terminate your pregnancy in this way requires a specific medical indication.
Curettage and sedation
For the procedure you get a light general anesthetic. This is necessary because during the treatment your cervix is stretched and this can be quite painful. But sometimes a different anesthetic is chosen such as an epidural or local anesthetic. The latter is usually not used because it is important that you completely relax during treatment. This is very difficult for many women.
The various methods of stunning will probably be discussed during the intake interview.
How does the curettage work?
In most cases a curettage is done in the hospital. For this you will be admitted for one day provided that no problems or complications arise.
First, the vagina and surrounding skin is disinfected with a liquid. Then the gynecologist brings a speculum (spreader) into the vagina. With a clamp, the uterus is grasped and gently pulled into the correct position: the extension of the uterine canal. Since this channel is too narrow to allow the necessary tools for the curettage to pass through, it is first stretched.
After this, the inside of the uterus is curled. The cavity is then scraped around with the curette (type of spoon). In this way the same situation arises as when you menstruate. If there is tissue in the uterus, for example from a miscarriage or after birth, tissue is first sucked away with a tube. Then the rest is removed with the curette.
All in all, this only takes 10 minutes.
Complications during the treatment hardly occur because it is a harmless procedure. In rare cases, the uterine wall is damaged during the procedure. When this happens, the intervention is stopped immediately. If you experience the following complaints after the treatment, it is good to call your doctor:
- Abdominal cramps that persist and / or intensify more than 2 days after the procedure
- Violent blood loss.
In most cases you can return home after a few hours. Possible complaints after the procedure:
- Abdominal cramps (ask for a painkiller)
- Slight blood loss in the first 10 to 14 days
- Tired or sleepy.
Do not use tampons in the light bleedings and do not bathe or swim. It is also wise to postpone sexual intercourse until the bleeding is stopped.
If you have had no abortion or miscarriage, your period will start again as normal, otherwise it can take 5 to 6 weeks.