What are the risks of dilation and curettage (D&C)?

A D&C is a very routine, safe procedure. But like all surgical procedures, there is the rare risk of complication. In the case of a D&C, risks include uterine perforation and infection. In rare cases, after a D&C has been performed following a miscarriage, adhesions may form in the uterus. This is called Asherman syndrome. The scar tissue can cause infertility and changes in menstrual flow, but can usually be treated successfully with surgery.

Most complications from a D&C are treatable, especially infection, if diagnosed early. If you notice any of the following after a D&C, you should contact your doctor immediately:

  • Unusual or foul-smelling discharge
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Excessive cramping
  • Fever

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/09/2014.


  • Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC. Dilation and Curettage. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, editors. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2011:chap 141, 957-961.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dilation and Curettage (D&C) Accessed 4/9/2014.
  • Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Dilation and Curettage (D&C) Accessed 4/5/2014.

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