What is curettage? When is it performed?

What is curettage? When is it performed?

What is curettage?

Curettage is a medical procedure that is sometimes necessary following 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 and presents more risks.

Traditional curettage involved 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.

This is why aspiration is preferred today, as it is less physically traumatic, less invasive, painful and risky. But it's the name curettage that has stuck.

When is a curettage necessary?

As lexplained above, curettage is used in cases of :

  • Miscarriage


  • Endometrial biopsy l

Indeed, if tissue residues remain in the uterus after a pregnancy, they can lead to complications (haemorrhage, infection, etc.). Nevertheless, as a first resort, it is advisable to wait some time for a natural expulsion to avoid any risk of infection.

How is a curettage performed?

Curettage takes place 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, with discharge on the same day as the operation. 

Painkillers can then be prescribed in case pain occurs.

What(s) precautions(s) should I take after a curettage?

During a curettage, the cervix is dilated, so it can take several days to close. However, when the cervix is open, it is exposed to germs and therefore to a 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, it's advisable to 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.