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Dilatation and curettage (D&C)

Read about what happens after a hysteroscopy, including when you can go home, when you can return to your normal activities, and when you should seek medical advice.

You should be able to go home on the same day as your hysteroscopy. If you had an anaesthetic, you may need to stay in hospital for a few hours until it has worn off.

You can drive yourself home if no anaesthetic or only local anaesthetic was used. If you had a general anaesthetic, you won't be able to drive for at least 24 hours, so you'll have to arrange for someone to take you home.

Recovering at home

It's a good idea to rest when you get home.

If you had a general anaesthetic, someone should stay with you for at least 24 hours until the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. Don't drive or drink alcohol during this time.

While you recover, you may experience:

  • cramping that's similar to period pain – this should pass in a few days and you can take regular painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen in the meantime
  • spotting or bleeding – this can last up to a week or more; use sanitary towels rather than tampons until your next period to help reduce the risk of your womb or cervix (entrance to the womb) becoming infected

These side effects are normal and nothing to worry about, but you should seek medical advice if they are particularly severe (see below).

Returning to your normal activities

Most women feel they can return to normal activities, including work, the day after having a hysteroscopy. Some women return to work later the same day.

However, you may wish to have a few days off to rest, particularly if you had treatment such as fibroids removal and/or a general anaesthetic was used.

Your doctor or surgeon can advise you about any activities you need to avoid while you recover, but generally speaking:

  • you can eat and drink as normal straight away – if you feel a bit sick after a general anaesthetic, try eating small, light meals at first
  • you can have a shower the same day or the next day
  • you should avoid having sex for a week, or until any bleeding stops – this will help to reduce the risk of infection

Getting your results

Your doctor or nurse will let you know whether they found anything unusual during your hysteroscopy, or discuss how any treatment went, straight away.

If a small sample of tissue (biopsy) was removed from the womb, it can take several weeks to get your results. These may be sent through the post to your home address or to your doctor’s surgery.

Make sure you know how you'll receive your results before leaving the hospital.

When to get medical advice

Contact your GP or the hospital clinic if you experience:

  • severe pain that isn't relieved by regular painkillers
  • heavy bleeding that means you have to change sanitary pads frequently
  • passing bright red blood or large clots
  • foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • a fever of over 38C (100.4F)

These symptoms could be a sign of a problem, such as an infection.

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