Who might need a D&C, following miscarriage?
Again, your doctor or team may suggest a D&C for other reasons than miscarriage – for example, to remove an IUD (intrauterine device). But following the loss of a pregnancy, D&C might be recommended if:
- you’re 10 or more weeks into pregnancy
- you’re bleeding heavily and continuously
- your pregnancy has had complications
- there’s a risk of infection
- you have a medical condition which could require emergency care
- expectant (natural, at-home) or medical management are unsuccessful
A D&C recovery plan
You’ll read pretty much all over the place that D&Cs are quick, and that most women are discharged from hospital just a few hours after. This may be the case, but it doesn’t help much with planning for recovery, and caring for your body after the procedure.
A miscarriage, even at an early stage, is a very physical experience – many of the hormonal shifts women experience post-birth are at play, and you’ll also be working with blood loss, fatigue and possible cramping and soreness.
Adding a D&C procedure into the journey adds another dynamic to recovery. Here’s what we suggest as focuses, for your D&C recovery.
1. Know your meds
This will depend on your doctor’s specific guidance, following the D&C and before you’re discharged from hospital. Often they will prescribe an antibiotic, to help prevent infection, and pain medication (usually ibuprofen) for any cramping and discomfort.
Check everything through with your practitioner, including how long you should take any prescribed meds for. And perhaps most importantly, ensure you have a number to call or contact details, for any concerns about infection or pain after being discharged.
2. Go gently
The first step – getting home. Don’t try to drive or manage a commute yourself, lean on your support network and ask someone to help.
Your practitioner will probably advise using pads for any bleeding after a D&C, and we’d definitely steer clear of tampons. Sex is also best avoided until your bleeding has stopped, and so is swimming.
A warm bath is usually ok three to five days after your procedure, but stick to showers before that – just leave out any perfumed bubble baths and soaps, and go gently. Douching is definitely off the menu.