Miscarriage! Uterine abnormalities! Tumor! Some very common and yet very traumatizing conditions many women go through in their lives. A relatively simple procedure done in such cases to remove all anomalies in your uterus is d&c. But does it affect your period?
Experiencing light period after d&c?
Well, the cause can be quite multifaceted. and might not be as concerning as you make it out to be or it can be something that requires another surgery. You see, it’s quite common for your hormones to fluctuate after undergoing such stressful conditions. Hence, there might be abnormalities in your menstrual flow.
Feeling a bit relieved? Well, let’s just say the situation might have a lot more going on than just the outcome you see. Let’s dig deep and try to uncover more mysteries.
Table of Content
What Is d&c?
D&C stand for, “ dilation and curettage”. Following a miscarriage, to remove the remnants from your failed pregnancy, to remove any mass or for other complications, your surgeon dilated your cervix and scoops out the contents from your uterus.
Following this procedure, you can expect to develop some changes in your uterus such as scar tissue formation, hormonal imbalances, etc. With such changes experiencing a light period after d&c seems quite a possibility right?
Indications of d&c
A few probable causes where d&c is indicated includes,
- Abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
- In case your doctor wants to diagnose a problem in your uterus, he may perform hysteroscopy with a d&c.
Light Period After d&c
Imagine you just had your d&c, you are already going through a tough phase in life for the recent miscarriage!. You expect a fresh start in life. But Alas! You start experiencing a light period after d&c.
So, what could be causing this? While most women experience heavy, bulky periods a few weeks after d&c procedure for the release of the thick uterine lining, some might experience the reverse.
After the d&c, the condition can be a result of hormonal imbalance or it can be due to scar tissue formation in your uterus.
In most cases, as a result of hormonal imbalance, the periods can be unusually lighter than normal. Don’t panic in such cases, give your uterus some time to heal. You will likely see your normal flow returning after a few more cycles.
Now, if not for hormonal imbalance, your abnormal period can be a result of, “Asherman Syndrome”. This abnormal scar tissue formation mostly affects women who had undergone d&c procedure a couple of times.
Infectious conditions such as tuberculosis or schistosomiasis may also cause scar formation. This abnormal condition in your uterus impedes the menstrual flow and thus contributes to forming a lighter period than normal.
If you do develop Asherman syndrome, hysteroscopic surgery will be needed to remove the adhesions.
Other Conditions After d&c
Any trauma to your uterus cannot be explained as a singular event. It involves a lengthy process of physical, mental, and emotional stress a combination of which hampers the hormonal and all-round well-being of most women.
As you know, any stressful change can trigger a bunch of changes to your hormones, a situation that can directly affect your menstrual discharge.
Light period after d&c ? it may not be the only thing you will experience.
A few changes to your flow includes:
A miscarriage or abortion is said to become, “complete” when all the tissues from your uterus have been shed off. A d&c plays a key role in removing the excess tissues in your uterus.
So, after a d&c you are supposed to return back to your usual menstrual cycle, isn’t it? Well, since the tissues have been removed from your uterus via surgery, there really is nothing to shed, isn’t it?
Also, it takes a bit of time for your uterus to get ready again for childbearing i.e. for the lining to form and for it to shed again.
It’s actually more common for most women to experience a heavy period the first time around after d&c. Imagine it this way, you have missed your period for a period of time after d&c. Won’t the new lining of the uterus be a lot thicker?
As such, most women are likely to experience a heavy menstrual flow that may also have a characteristic odor and color.
Stressful conditions, any deviation from normal homeostasis can bring about a lot of changes to your hormones, chemicals released from your body. If you feel stressed out and anxious after d&c, it’s most probably for the bundles of imbalances within your body.
Such emotional distress may resemble postpartum depression. Especially, the mental distress can last longer in the case of women who had miscarriage or abortion.
Precaution & Remedy
D&c is a non-essential procedure performed mainly with a view to removing all the debris from the previous miscarriages, abortion, examining the uterus, and preparing the uterus for further pregnancy.
Possible precautions to be taken before, during, and after the procedure involves the following:
Before The Procedure
- Carefully understand the procedure from your doctor and then sign the consent form.
- Provide your complete history to your doctor, don’t leave out information regarding irregular periods, cramps, or previous pregnancy.
- Your doctor will most likely perform a full physical examination along with blood and other diagnostic tests.
- Notify your doctor of any allergic conditions in your body
- Follow the health protocols during sedative application and also keep a sanitary pad with you to wear on your way home.
- The procedure must be performed by a trained individual to prevent any permanent damage from happening.
During The Procedure
- You will be required to wear a hospital gown and empty your bladder before the procedure.
- Your cervix will be cleaned with antiseptic and you will be positioned on the operating table.
- Your cervix will be dilated by inserting a series of thin rods. The process involves placing rods, one larger than the other which will gradually enlarge the opening of the cervix so that the curette ( for scooping the contents ) can be inserted.
- By using the curette and in some cases, suction force your uterine contents will be scooped out.
- The tissues scooped may be sent to a laboratory for further examination.
After The Procedure
- The recovery period after the d&c varies for different people. It will take about 2 hours after using local anesthesia before you can return home
- Don’t be alarmed if you see light bleeding or spotting for a few days after the procedure. It’s completely normal. Take extra precautions in using sanitary pads to prevent any accidents from happening.
- Try to bear with the cramps after the procedure.
- Avoid using douche, tampons, or having sexual intercourse for 2-3 days after the procedure.
- You will miss your periods a few weeks after the procedure. Remember, you just had all of your uterine linings removed and it’s gonna take some time for it to grow back.
- You may use NSAIDs to deal with the pain
- As the title of our article goes, notify your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Heavy Bleeding
- Funky smelling discharge from your vagina
- Fever/ chills
- Excess abdominal pain.
- If you are diagnosed with Asherman Syndrome, you will need to get hysteroscopic surgery. It’s a relatively simple procedure in which the scar tissue will be removed by your doctor so that the menstrual flow can return to normal.
So, in a nutshell. You are most likely to experience some irritations after the procedure. It’s best to know all the pros and cons of your doctor beforehand and keep in touch with them to best deal with the complications.
Can I get irregular periods after d&c?
Answer: It’s natural to miss your periods a few weeks after the procedure and to experience heavy or light periods during your initial few cycles after the absence phase. But, after returning to your regular cycle it’s likely for women who had irregular periods, to begin with, to have irregular periods.
Why is my period so light after miscarriage?
Answer: Light period after any clinical conditions or surgical procedure, is a sign of Asherman’s syndrome. It’s basically a condition in which there occurs the formation of scar tissues in the region of trauma can inhibit the flow.
When will I get my regular menstrual cycle after d&c?
Answer: You can expect your uterine lining to grow back completely, after a period of 3-6 weeks. Your periods too will return to their usual flow after the lining returns to normal.
Can I get pregnant after performing d&c?
Answer: Yes! You can get pregnant after performing d&c. After your uterine lining gets back to normal, you no longer have any restrictions in performing sexual intercourse.
What is considered a light period?
Answer: The usual blood loss during a menstrual period can range somewhere from 20 to 80 milliliters. If your blood loss is less than 20 mL, it can be called a light period.
When should I visit a doctor if I experience complications after d&c?
Answer: It’s best to visit the doctor at your earliest convenience if you experience:
- Excess cramps
- Light period for a prolonged duration of time
- Excess bleeding
- Smelly discharge from your vagina.
Light period after d&c? Don’t panic. Get the needed help and you will be alright.
So, it’s essential that you don’t panic at this time. Reach out to your ob&g specialist. The condition may dissolve by itself following a few more cycles. If you do develop Asherman Syndrome, follow your doctor’s advice and get the hysteroscopic surgery done. It’s a very simple procedure and can even be done in outdoor settings.