What is curettage? When is it performed?

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

What is curettage?

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

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

It's worth noting that when we speak of curettage today, we're actually talking about aspiration. Today, this technique is preferred to "traditional" curettage, which is a surgical procedure that involves greater risks.

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

That's why vacuum aspiration is now preferred, as it's less physically traumatic, less invasive, less painful and less risky. But it's the name curettage that 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 (haemorrhage, infection, etc.). However, as a first resort, it is advisable to wait some time for a natural expulsion to avoid any risk of infection.

How does curettage work?

Curettage is performed in the operating theatre under local or general anaesthetic. The practitioner dilates the cervix with candles (a term used to describe a medical instrument), or by administering a special product, before inserting a cannula to aspirate dead cells or the entire embryo. An ultrasound scan is then performed to check that all debris has been removed. This takes less than 30 minutes, as the operation is not a major one. It is therefore usually 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 curettage?

During curettage, the cervix is dilated, so it may take several days to close. But when the cervix is open, it's exposed to germs and therefore to possible infection. We therefore advise against taking baths, going to the pool, sea, sauna or hammam. It's also advisable to avoid wearing tampons or menstrual cups (prefer menstrual panties or sanitary towels), and to avoid sexual intercourse for two weeks.

What's more, if you experience severe pain, fever or heavy bleeding, you should consult a health professional for a check-up. In the event of bleeding, you can use our organic cotton menstrual pants!

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.