The days and weeks following a dilation & curettage (D&C) can be both physically and emotionally challenging. During this time, it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions ranging from sadness over a failed pregnancy to excitement to try again. Many of our surrogates will have questions about what is normal for their bodies to experience physically during this period. Here’s a look at what you can expect:
Immediately Following the Procedure
Most patients will be kept in the recovery suite at the hospital for a few hours before being discharged. You’ll likely want to take it easy for a day or two, but recovery tends to be a quick, simple process. In the first 24 to 48 hours following the procedure, you can expect to experience light to moderate bleeding and potential cramping. You may be given medication to help with any potential pain. Sometimes you will also be given an antibiotic as a precaution against infection.
Return to Menstruation
Another commonly asked question is when the monthly cycle returns. This time can vary, but according to the American Pregnancy Association, most women will have a return to menstruation within 2-6 weeks of having the procedure. Most doctors will want to know if you do not have a regular period within the first 12 weeks following the procedure. Additionally, please note that there is no way to tell when ovulation will resume, so be sure to use appropriate birth control.
When to Call for Help
While light bleeding and cramping are normal, you should contact your doctor if you experience:
- Prolonged bleeding (more than 2 weeks)
- Prolonged cramping (more than 2 weeks)
- Passing of blood clots, or flow heavier than a standard menstruation cycle
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Foul smelling discharge from the vagina
These symptoms can begin right away or can occasionally take days to appear. No matter when these symptoms show up, they should be reported to your doctor right away.
If you find yourself in need of additional support, do not hesitate to reach out to your nurse, case specialist, or even Dr. Kim Bergman. We are here to support you through this difficult time of transition.