When Will I Get My Period After Having a D&C?

It may come earlier or later than expected

Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee 

A dilation and curettage, or D&C, is a surgical procedure performed after a miscarriage or to remove cysts or tumors in the uterus. The procedure is performed by an OB/GYN and can be done in a doctor's office or an operating room.

In a D&C, a physician opens the cervix (dilation) to gain access to the uterus. After a miscarriage, they use a curette (a suction device) to remove any retained products of conception (placental or fetal tissue) from the uterus. In other cases, the doctor may use the procedure to diagnose and treat uterine problems, like abnormal bleeding.

Your Period After a D&C

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the uterus will build up a new tissue lining after the procedure (like it does after a period). After a D&C, your next menstrual cycle might be early or late. You may notice that bleeding is heavier than usual, with a bit more clotting, during the first one or two cycles after a D&C.

It's difficult to predict when you might get your period after a D&C. On average, it can be around two weeks to six weeks, but the time will vary for each person. If you had a miscarriage, your hormone levels will have to return to normal before you have a period again.

Several factors make predicting the return of your period after a D&C far from an exact science, including:

  • Menstrual cycle: If you had irregular periods prior to the D&C, you’ll likely still have irregular periods, which mean it may take longer than six weeks for your period to return.
  • Stage of pregnancy: How far along you are in your pregnancy when you miscarry might affect how soon you will get your period after having a D&C. Hormone levels return to normal more quickly after an early miscarriage than they do after a later miscarriage.

What Else to Expect After a D&C

Most people are able to go home within a few hours of the D&C and can resume normal activities within a day or two. You can expect some mild cramping and/or light bleeding for a few days.

Aftercare

For aftercare, it's important to avoid placing anything into your vagina (such as using tampons or menstrual cups, douching, or engaging in sexual intercourse) until your health care provider gives you the okay.

Your doctor will likely also advise you of any activity restrictions, including exercise or strenuous or heavy lifting. They will also give recommendations on pain relief, including using a pain reliever for any cramping or soreness, and medications to avoid, such as aspirin or other medications that may increase the risk of bleeding.

Complications

When performed by a knowledgeable and experienced clinician, a D&C usually poses limited risks. While rare, it's important that you understand the possible complications of the procedure, which include:

  • Hemorrhaging (heavy bleeding)
  • Incomplete procedure that requires another D&C
  • Infection in the uterus or other pelvic organs
  • Intrauterine adhesions or scarring (Asherman's syndrome)
  • Perforation of the uterus (when a small hole occurs in the uterus from the instrument)
  • Problems with anesthesia

When to Call Your Doctor

If you experience the following symptoms after a D&C, call your healthcare provider immediately. These symptoms could indicate a complication and require prompt medical treatment.

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fever (over 100.4 degrees F) and/or chills
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Heavy bleeding (filling more than one pad per hour)
  • Prolonged bleeding (more than two weeks)
  • Prolonged cramping and abdominal pain (more than two weeks)

A small number of people develop Asherman's syndrome, which can prevent a normal period and cause pain or infertility following a D&C. The risk is highest in people who have had more than one D&C.

If it's been more than eight weeks since your D&C and you haven't yet had a period, let your healthcare provider know.

A Word From Verywell

A slow-to-return menstrual period can be frustrating—especially if you had a D&C for a miscarriage and you're hoping to begin trying again for a new pregnancy. Be reassured that your choice of miscarriage management (a D&C versus medical or expectant management) is not likely to affect your future fertility.

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3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dilation and curettage (D&C).

  2. Nanda K, Lopez LM, Grimes DA, Peloggia A, Nanda G. Expectant care versus surgical treatment for miscarriageCochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;2012(3):CD003518. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003518.pub3

  3. March of Dimes. Miscarriage.

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