D&C or D&E (Dialation)

Nurses General Nursing


I'm a nursing student (2nd semester). While studying tonight I have a question.

When there is a D&C or D&E done how is the cervix dialted. I can't find anything in the book about it. I know in class we did talk about metal dialtor rods like ring sizer's put in and taken out unitl it is dialted. But we did not connect that back to D&C. But that is what I'm thinking is going on. Am I correct?

We also talked about the use of a prostoglandyn put in the vagina up to the cervix which helps soften it and it is used with vaccum & curretage. Is that same stuff used with D&C's to get it softened before manually opening it up.

One more thing. Incompent cervix can be a result of having several D&C's b/c of the muscle tearing that occurs with manually opening cervix. DO I have this correct?

If you can't tell I have been studying all day. Test is Monday. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks is advance.

Mint Julip

76 Posts

Oops sorry. Posting in wrong thread!

judy ann

225 Posts

Specializes in obstetrics(high risk antepartum, L/D,etc.

Yes, graduated dialating rods are inserted through a cervix to open it wide enough to pass the currette for a D&C.

Prostaglandin can be used to soften the cervix, usually of a later gestation, in order to soften it. Usually a gel is placed next to the cervix, held in by a diaphragm and left for a period of time, and may need to be repeated several times for satisfactory results. It is used for vacuum and currattage,( and also for induction of labor ) because the vacuum tip is larger than the currettes, and the cervix must be further dialated.

Cervical incomitence can result from many things, damage during D&C being only one of them. An incompetent cervix can be caused by cervical biopsies that are deep and poorly healed, cervical infections that are not adequately treated, cervical tears that are not identified or repaired in previous pregnancies, or simply a cervix that is too weak to support a pregnancy.

Good luck and FYI this info comes from 40 years of OB experience and 18 years of inpatient certification. I don't want to brag---or maybe I do.;)


93 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room,, Plastic Surgery.

hope this helps

in the OR the doc uses dialators,sterile stainless steel rods in graduated sizes starting small and working up in size . I will try to attach a picture of some hegar dialators.

The other way uses a chemical or hormone that causes the cervix to soften and start to dialate. usually done a day before.


55 Posts

Thanks that made it a lot clearer for me.:)


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

these guys covered it well

great link, marcie.

good luck in school alie!

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