This page provides basic knowledge about the medical procedure known as a DD&C. This procedure is generally known as a womb scrape.

DD & C is the recognised abbreviation for Diagnostic Dilatation and Curettage. Diagnostic indicates that the procedure is done to make a diagnosis. Dilation refers to stretching or dilating. In this case the narrow canal running from mouth and neck (cervix) of the womb to the cavity, is strech wider. The cervical canal will now be wide enough to allow instruments to be passed into the uterine cavity. The term curettage refers to the actual scraping of the inside cavity of the womb.

As explained elsewhere the endometrium ( the internal lining of the womb) is the site where menstruation takes place. The changes occurring in this layer caused by the hormones estrogen and progesterone determine when the menstruation is going to start , how heavy it will be and when it it going to stop. Analysis ( microscopic examination) of this layer will give important clues about the the hormonal status.

A DD&C is done to obtain pieces of the lining. It is indicated in cases of abnormal bleeding including absence of menstruation ( amenorrhoea). The endometrial pieces obtained are called curettings . The curettings are send for analysis. The labarotory report will assists the patient's phycian in diagnosing the cause of the abnormal bleeding..

A DD&C is also indicated in infertility to determine if the female partner ovulates and to judge if the endometrium is properly prepared to embed the embryo. Refer to Early Pregnacy and Implantation .



A Graphic Presentation of the Procedure Known as a DD&C

The next drawings show how a specimen is obtained using an instrument called a curette.

The dilated cervix, the instrument in the uterus and it's path through the tissues are illustrated.


The site in the uterus where the tissue is removed as well as a piece of tissue attached to the curette are illustrated. The piece of tissue attached to the curette ( instrument) represents the tissue that will be analised.





End the page : DD & C Made Simple

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