Before coming home from hospital make sure you’re clear about:
- driving (don’t forget to also check with your car insurance company, in case they have any restrictions following a surgical procedure)
- symptoms that need medical attention.
Your recovery varies depending on whether you had general anaesthesia.
If you’ve had general anaesthesia, you may feel different for 2 or 3 days, with more fatigue or difficulties with your memory. You shouldn’t drive and drink alcohol if this is the case. Also, try and hold off making big and important decisions.
You need to have someone stay with you
If you’ve had a general anaesthetic, try and have a friend or relative stay with you for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
Resuming activities and returning to work
You’ll probably feel well enough to go back to work next day. If you’ve had general anaesthesia, it may be wise to take a few days off to recover.
Managing bleeding and cramps
You may have some vaginal bleeding or spotting for a few days. It’s better to use a sanitary pad rather than a tampon, as it reduces the risk of an infection following the procedure. Period-like cramps are common. Light cramps can last up to 2 weeks. Naproxen or ibuprofen may help with the pain.
To reduce the risk of infection, avoid using tampons for at least 2 weeks, or until your next period. Avoid douching.
You should avoid having sex for 2 weeks after your procedure, or longer if you’re still bleeding. This will reduce the risk of infection.
Your next period
After D&C, a new lining will build up in your uterus. Your next menstrual period may not occur at the regular time. It may be early or late.
If you’re trying for a baby, you should use contraception until your surgeon gives you clearance to try and get pregnant. This is particularly important if your D&C was done at the same time as surgery in your uterus.
You’ll need to make a follow-up appointment with your gynaecologist to get the results of the procedure and any biopsy.
Watching out for problems
Call your gynaecologist immediately or go to your hospital emergency department if you have:
- fever or chills
- dizziness or fainting
- pain that you can’t relieve with regular painkillers
- severe and persistent abdominal cramps
- pain when passing urine
- increased vaginal discharge, especially if it’s smelly or unpleasant
- heavy bleeding (heavier than your normal period)
- bleeding or cramping that persists for more than 2 weeks
- inability to urinate.