What is a curettage? When is it performed?

Qu'est-ce qu'un curetage ? Dans quel cas est-il réalisé ?

What is a curettage?

A curettage is a medical procedure that is sometimes necessary following a termination of pregnancy, whether by abortion or miscarriage.

In these cases of interrupted pregnancies, the uterus is supposed to naturally expel the entire embryo, placenta and endometrium. Nevertheless, some debris may remain and a curettage is then necessary.

It should be noted that when we speak of curettage today, we are talking about aspiration. This technique is now preferred to "traditional" curettage, which is a surgical procedure and presents more risks.

Traditional curettage consists of removing the tissue that covers the internal cavity of the uterus with a curette (a spoon-like device), to remove any debris that may be present in the uterus. However, this procedure is quite painful and sometimes involves complications.

This is why aspiration is preferred today because it is less physically traumatic, less invasive, painful and risky. However, the name curettage has stuck.

When should a curettage be performed?

As explained above, curettage is used in cases of

  • Miscarriage


  • Endometrial biopsy

Indeed, if residual tissue remains in the uterus after a pregnancy, it can lead to complications (hemorrhage, infection, etc.). Nevertheless, as a first resort, it is recommended to wait for some time for a natural expulsion in order to avoid any risk of infection.

How is a curettage performed?

The curettage is performed in the operating room under local or general anesthesia. The practitioner dilates the cervix with candles (a term used for a medical instrument) or by administering a special product, before inserting a cannula that will suck out the dead cells or the entire embryo. Afterwards, an ultrasound is performed to verify that all debris has been removed. This takes less than 30 minutes because the operation is not heavy. It is therefore most often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is discharged the same day as the operation.

Painkillers can be prescribed afterwards in case of pain.

What precautions should be taken after a curettage?

During a curettage, the cervix is dilated, so it may take several days to close. When the cervix is open, it is exposed to germs and therefore to a possible infection. It is therefore not advisable to take baths, go to the pool, the sea, the sauna or the steam room. It is also advisable to avoid wearing tampons, menstrual cups (prefer menstrual panties or sanitary napkins), but also to avoid sexual intercourse for two weeks.

In addition, if severe pain, fever, or heavy bleeding occurs, it is advisable to consult a health professional for a check-up. In case of bleeding, you can use our menstrual panties in organic cotton!

1 comment

  • Erneste Ndereye

    Montrer pratiquement comment faire le curetage merci

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