D&C stands for “dilatation and curettage”, a procedure in which your doctor dilates or opens the cervix and scrapes the lining of the uterus. A D&C is often performed in cases of heavy, abnormal uterine bleeding, only for diagnostic and not for therapeutic purposes.

A D&C is often performed after a hysteroscopy where the doctor uses a hysteroscope to inspect the uterine cavity for visible growths and abnormalities.  A pathologist examines cells from the uterine lining under a microscope to determine the cause of abnormal bleeding, such as polyps, fibroids, hyperplasia, cancer or precancer.

A D&C may provide temporary relief from heavy bleeding.


  1. Dilation and Curettage. EMedicineHealth. 2007. www.emedicinehealth.com/dilation_and_curettage_dandc/article_em.htm
  2. Parker WH. A Gynecologist’s Second Opinion. (c) 2003; A Plume Book; Published by the Penguin Group, New York, NY.
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Last updated on Jun 9, 2023