Dilatation or dilation and curettage (D&C) is the most common form of surgical abortion. It’s usually performed on patients between 10 and 22 weeks pregnant, but Colorado laws allow this procedure throughout the entire gestation period. It is a safe, minimally-invasive procedure that takes only minutes.
Before your abortion, we’ll meet with you to discuss the procedure and offer counseling. Your OB-GYN may advise you to avoid drinking and eating in the hours leading up to surgery. With a D&C abortion, you will likely receive some form of sedation or pain blockers.
Once you’re prepared for the procedure, the doctor will use a series of probes to dilate or open your cervix. Then, the physician will use a curved instrument called a curette and other tools to gently separate the uterine lining from the walls of the uterus. They’ll use suction to remove all the tissue, and the entire process takes anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour.
After the procedure, you may have an ultrasound to confirm all the tissue is gone. We may monitor you for a few minutes to ensure your vitals are stable, but otherwise, you can go home and recover in peace with some antibiotics to prevent infection. If you were sedated during the procedure, someone else will need to drive you home.
Over the next few days, you’ll likely experience some spotting or bleeding and cramps. If so, be sure to use pads, not tampons. Your doctor may instruct you not to douche or have sexual intercourse for a couple of days. You can take a pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the cramping — ask your doctor which medication is best for you.
Try to take it easy until you fully recover and avoid lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous activities. Contact your doctor right away if you have heavy bleeding, strong-smelling discharge, severe pain or a fever.
If you think a D&C abortion is the right option for you, Mile High Women’s Clinic will guide you through the process. We take both in-state and out-of-state patients. Our staff has both male and female gynecologists for your choosing, some of whom have decades of experience performing D&Cs.
Visit our contact page today so we can start the process for you. We strive to see every patient within a week of first contact.