Miscarriage and curettage

A miscarriage occurs in 1 in 10 pregnancies. If the miscarriage does not start, this is also called a missed abortion. The woman can choose to wait or to terminate the pregnancy through curettage. The sailing mother is spooned out or sucked out. This can be done under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia.


Although most pregnancies go well, more than ten percent of them end in miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur between four and twelve weeks of pregnancy. An installation error is often the cause. A miscarriage is also called a spontaneous abortion. This usually starts with some light bleeding that becomes more severe as time goes by. Abdominal cramps are also involved. A miscarriage cannot be stopped or prevented. Nature goes its own way.


Sometimes the fruit or fetus has died but the body does not reject it. A miscarriage will then occur. The woman can wait until the miscarriage starts or speed up the process by opting for curettage. Curettage is also chosen when tissue remains after a miscarriage. This causes the uterus to continue to contract and bleed. This can be dangerous due to the large amount of blood loss, but it also increases the risk of infection. A curettage is also used to perform an abortion: a conscious termination of the pregnancy. We will not go into this further: curettage will be discussed in combination with a miscarriage. A miscarriage that does not start is also called a missed abortion.

When do you have a curettage performed?

Before a curettage can be performed, it must be certain that the fetus has died. This can be done by means of an ultrasound, on which the heart activity can be viewed. If there is no cardiac activity during pregnancy from 5.5 to 6 weeks (the period during which this can be seen by ultrasound), it can be assumed that the fetus was/is not viable. Sometimes a wait-and-see attitude is adopted and the heart activity is re-examined after a few days. In some cases it turned out that the pregnancy was not as advanced as expected and there was suddenly a beating heart. Some women do not want to wait until the miscarriage. Sometimes a miscarriage takes a very long time. A miscarriage can be emotionally but also physically stressful. You can discuss with the midwife or doctor whether a curettage is possible.


The midwife does not perform curettage. This is performed in a hospital. This is in contrast to an abortion clinic, which does not have to be a hospital. A curettage is reimbursed through health insurance. Make sure you take the policy number with you to the hospital. The treatment is performed on an outpatient basis: you can then go home again. Provide transportation, you cannot drive yourself.

The procedure

The curettage can be performed under local anesthesia, but also under anesthesia. Bidding has its pros and cons. With a local anesthetic you will be ready faster and you can go home sooner. A slight pain may be felt during the procedure and the sounds may not be tolerable for everyone. With anesthesia, you are not aware of the procedure itself. However, everything takes much longer: putting the patient under anesthesia and sleeping it off. You may be tired for a few days due to the anesthesia.
A curettage does not take long: 10 to 15 minutes. The uterus is emptied through a tube or scooped out with a curette (kind of spoon). This causes blood loss. It is advisable to take sanitary towels with you, this is certainly necessary. The blood loss can continue for two weeks. Tampons are not allowed to be worn for the first time and you are not allowed to bathe or swim. Showering is allowed. Abdominal cramps may occur. Sometimes the doctor prescribes an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infections. A follow-up check may take place. This will usually be carried out after two weeks. The follow-up check is not mandatory, but it is recommended.
In case of complaints such as severe blood loss, renewed blood loss, fever or severe pain, it is advisable to contact the doctor. The body starts recovery from the curettage. Depending on the recovery, ovulation will occur 2 to 4 weeks after the curettage, after which the woman can become pregnant again. Sometimes the body is so disrupted that ovulation takes longer.

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  • Blood loss and pregnant
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