Physical recovery after a D&C is very fast. Because of the general anaesthetic you'll need to stay in hospital under observation for a few hours after the procedure, but you may be allowed to go after as little as two hours.
You'll be given some toast and a drink on the ward and will need to pass urine before being allowed home (you won't be able to drive). You'll then need to be watched by a family member or friend for 24 hours after the operation as a precautionary measure, and you shouldn't drive for 48 hours.
You also shouldn't use tampons or have sexual intercourse until you have fully recovered (for about a week), and you should avoid heavy lifting for a few days.
You might experience cramps, like period pain, for half-an-hour to an hour after the D&C, and some women have cramps for the rest of the day. Your usual pain relief medication, such as paracetemol or ibruprofen should take care of this. You will probably also have light bleeding or spotting.
Physically you'll need at least one day off work afterwards to recover, perhaps a couple, but if the reason for a D&C was miscarriage then you are likely to need more time.
You should seek medical help right away if you experience any of the following:
- Abdominal pain (more than period-like cramps) or painful cramps that persist beyond a couple of days and aren't helped by painkillers
- Heavy or increased vaginal bleeding, or clots in the blood
- A discharge from your vagina with an unpleasant odour
Find out more about the risks involved in a D&C, in our guide to what will happen and reasons why you might need a D&C.