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

It may come earlier or later than expected

When will i get my period d&c

Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee 

A dilation and curettage, or D&C, is a surgical procedure where a physician opens (called dilation) the cervix to gain access to the uterus. The procedure is performed by an OB-GYN and can be done in a doctor's office or an operating room.

Once the uterus is accessed, the doctor uses a curette or a suction device to clear the uterus of any retained products of conception after a miscarriage or to diagnose and treat uterine problems, like abnormal bleeding.

If you need to have a D&C, here is what you can expect after the procedure—including information about when you will resume having your period.

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 a D&C. After having the procedure, a person's next menstrual cycle might be early or late. You may notice that bleeding is heavier than usual, with a bit more clotting, during your first one or two cycles after your D&C.

It's difficult to predict when an individual will get their period. The American Pregnancy Association states that a woman's period will often return around two weeks to six weeks after a D&C.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

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 OK.

After your D&C, your doctor will likely advise you on how long to wait before having sex or using tampons as well as the following:

  • Activity restrictions, including exercise or strenuous or heavy lifting.
  • Medications, including a pain reliever for cramping or soreness or restrictions on Aspirin, or other pain 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:

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

When to Call Your Doctor

If you experience the following symptoms after a D&C, call your healthcare provider immediately. They 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, cause pain, or infertility, following a D&C. The highest risk being 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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Article 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. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dilation and Curettage (D&C). March 2019.

  2. American Pregnancy Association. D&C Procedure After A Miscarriage. April 2012.

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