Menstruation After Curettage: Everything You Need to Know

Menstruation after curettage depends on several factors, such as the cause for which it was performed and whether or not there were complications. Here we tell you when it appears and its characteristics.
Menstruation After Curettage: Everything You Need to Know
Leidy Mora Molina

Written and verified by the nurse Leidy Mora Molina.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Curettage is a gynecological procedure performed to diagnose or treat certain uterine conditions. One of the concerns of women who undergo this procedure is what their period will be like in the future. That’s why, in the following article, we’ll tell you about menstruation after curettage.

Menstruation is the beginning of the menstrual cycle, which occurs approximately every 28 days. In this phase of the cycle, the thick mucous tissue that lines the walls of the uterus is shed and comes out in the form of vaginal bleeding that lasts about 5 to 7 days.

After curettage, menstruation may be delayed and its frequency and characteristics may even be momentarily altered. This lasts as long as it takes for the uterus to heal and for the hormones to normalize.

What is curettage and why is it performed?

Curettage is a gynecological procedure performed to clean out the uterine cavity. Specifically, the innermost layer, called the endometrium.

Some know it as uterine curettage, as the walls of the uterus are “scraped” in order to remove all this mucous tissue adhered to them.

Curettage is a relatively simple procedure that lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. In general, it’s performed under local anesthesia and doesn’t require hospitalization afterward.

A doctor and nurse talking to a female patient.

Why is curettage performed?

Curettage can be performed for the following purposes:

  1. To evacuate the contents of the uterus: Such as ovarian debris, abnormal formations, or even a retained embryo after a miscarriage. It’s also indicated in the postpartum period when there are remnants of placental tissue. The objective is to eliminate these elements in order to prevent the development of an infection.
  2. Collecting uterine tissue samples: When there’s suspicion of uterine cancer or when there are abnormal uterine bleedings, a gynecologist may indicate curettage to collect endometrial tissue samples and study them.
  3. As a treatment for uterine pathologies: For example, myomas, polyps, some menstrual irregularities, or problems associated with intrauterine devices (IUD), among others.

Post curettage symptoms

In general, after curettage, a woman may experience vaginal bleeding similar to menstruation, which usually lasts several days. Some abdominal or pelvic pain is also normal, but most commonly, the postoperative recovery is rapid.

Attention should be paid to possible complications, which can be evidenced from the following symptoms:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Fever
  • Intense pain
  • Foul-smelling discharge

In case of any of these symptoms, the woman must go to the doctor as soon as possible because it could be an emergency situation.

What is menstruation after curettage like?

As we’ve mentioned, in curettage, the endometrial tissue is removed, which is the same tissue that’s eliminated during menstruation. Therefore, the uterus must create a new lining from that moment on, even if it doesn’t coincide with the proliferative phase of the normal menstrual cycle.

Generally speaking, menstruation should return between 30 and 40 days after the procedure. However, this parameter depends on the particular conditions of each woman.

A fact that shouldn’t be overlooked is that this first menstruation is usually more abundant and longer lasting than usual. It may even last for 2 or 3 more menstrual cycles.

If there’s a 6-week absence of menstruation after curettage or if menstruation is very abundant for months, it’s best to consult a gynecologist.

A calendar, and alarm clock, a stack of sanitary napkins, and a blister pack of pills.

When can you start looking to get pregnant after curettage?

It’s possible to get pregnant after the next post-curettage menstruation. However, specialists recommend waiting 2 or 3 menstrual periods for the body to prepare well to conceive.

As for the World Health Organization, it recommends postponing pregnancy for at least 6 months if the cause of the curettage was a miscarriage. This is the prudential time for the future mother to get ready physically and emotionally.

Finally, after curettage, it’s important for the specialist to perform a proper gynecological evaluation in order to verify that everything is all right inside the uterine cavity. Especially if you want to start looking for a baby.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.