UTI after D&C

Welcome, dear reader. Today, we delve into a somewhat sensitive yet important topic – Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) after a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) procedure. While this is a complication that doesn’t occur regularly, the possibility does exist, and we believe it’s essential to stay informed. So, what happens when this urinary infection comes knocking at your door post-D&C? Let’s find out together.

Understanding Dilation and Curettage (D&C)


D&C Surgical Procedure

A D&C is a surgical procedure where the doctor dilates the cervix and then removes tissue from the uterus, usually with a surgical tool or by suction. This can be due to reasons such as a miscarriage, abnormal bleeding, or to obtain samples for further analysis.

Purpose and Risk Factors

While D&C is a generally safe procedure, like any surgery, it comes with its share of risk factors – infection, bleeding, and in rare cases, damage to the cervix or uterus.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)



A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system, including kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, most commonly caused by bacteria. Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men.

UTI Risk Factors |

Factors such as a weakened immune system, recent urinary catheterization, or a history of UTIs increase the chances of an infection.

Connection Between D&C and UTI


Possible Causes: Urinary Catheter

One might wonder, “How can a procedure performed on the uterus cause an infection in the urinary tract?” The primary reason is the potential use of a urinary catheter during the surgery, which might introduce bacteria into the urinary tract. Additionally, the proximity of the uterus and the urinary tract in the female anatomy also plays a role.

Common Symptoms

UTI symptoms after a D&C would be similar to those of any regular UTI – frequent urination, pain or a burning sensation during urination, cloudy or strong-smelling urine, and in some cases, fever.

Dealing with UTI after D&C


When to Consult a Doctor

If you’ve had a D&C and started experiencing any UTI symptoms, you should reach out to your doctor immediately. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to complications, such as the infection spreading to your kidneys.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose a UTI, your doctor may ask for a urine sample. Upon positive diagnosis, antibiotics are the usual line of treatment to kill the bacteria causing the infection.

Prevention of UTI Post-D&C


Antibiotics and Other Medications

Taking antibiotics before the procedure can help reduce the risk of developing a UTI post-D&C. However, always consult your doctor before starting any medication.

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies

Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, can help dilute your urine and ensure that you urinate more frequently, flushing out bacteria.

Avoiding irritants such as harsh soaps and bubble baths, and emptying the bladder before and after sexual activity can also decrease the risk of UTIs.

Are you more predisposed to getting UTIs if there is an imbalance of bacteria in your urinary Tract?

Let’s expand on this subject and dive into the aspect of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) in women with and without postoperative UTI. For context, OTUs are used in microbiology to classify groups of closely related individuals, typically used in the study of microbiomes.

This concept is particularly significant when examining the microbiome of the urinary tract and its role in UTIs.

Understanding OTUs and their Significance in Post-Operative UTI


The Role of Microbiome in UTIs

While it is established that bacteria cause UTIs, the role of the urinary microbiome is still a developing area of study. The urinary microbiome consists of a variety of bacteria, both pathogenic and beneficial. It’s believed that the balance or imbalance of these microbiomes might contribute to the occurrence or prevention of UTIs. |

Common OTUs in Women With and Without Post-Operative UTI

Studies have found differences in the OTUs present in women with and without postoperative UTIs. Women without UTIs tend to have a more diverse microbiome in their urinary tract, with OTUs corresponding to Lactobacillus species being prominent.

Lactobacillus is known for its beneficial role in maintaining a healthy vaginal environment, and it also appears to protect against UTIs.

On the contrary, women who have post-operative UTIs often show a different profile. Escherichia (E. coli) and Staphylococcus are two genera that often feature more predominantly in the OTUs of these individuals. E. coli, in particular, is a frequent culprit of UTIs, as it can easily move from the gut (where it naturally occurs) to the urethra.

Overall, while the study of OTUs and the urinary microbiome is still ongoing, the findings suggest a potential relationship between the composition of the urinary microbiome and the incidence of UTIs after surgery. Therefore, maintaining a healthy urinary microbiome may be an important factor in preventing post-operative UTIs. |

How to Maintain a Healthy Urinary Microbiome?


Proper Hydration

Hydration plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy urinary microbiome. Drinking plenty of water ensures frequent urination, which helps flush bacteria out of the urinary tract, preventing them from causing an infection.


Consuming a balanced diet can contribute to a healthier urinary microbiome. Certain foods like those high in refined sugar may promote the growth of harmful bacteria. Including probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt and kefir, can promote beneficial bacteria in your body, including the urinary tract.

Proper Toilet Hygiene

Practicing good toilet hygiene is also crucial. Women should always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from the anal region from reaching the urethra and bladder.

Voiding Before and After Sexual Activity

Urinating before and after sexual activity can help flush out bacteria that might have been pushed into the urethra, minimizing the risk of developing a UTI.

Avoid Using Irritants

Avoid using potential irritants, such as harsh soaps, powders, and bubble baths. These products can irritate the urethra and increase the risk of infection.

Seeking Timely Medical Help

If you notice any symptoms indicative of a UTI, seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can help restore the normal balance of your urinary microbiome and prevent complications. |

Maintaining a healthy urinary microbiome can help prevent UTIs, especially after procedures like D&C. If you’re planning for such procedures or have undergone one, discuss with your doctor the steps you can take to protect your urinary health.


It’s essential to understand that while UTIs post-D&C are possible, they are not common complications. With a knowledgeable healthcare team, proper precautions, and timely management, you can navigate through this situation if it arises. Knowledge is power, so stay informed, and stay healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Can I prevent a UTI after a D&C procedure?

Yes, with adequate precautions and prescribed medications, the risk of a UTI can be significantly reduced.

What are the signs of a UTI after a D&C?

Typical signs include a burning sensation during urination, frequent urges to urinate, and cloudy or strong-smelling urine.

Is a UTI after a D&C a common complication?

No, while possible, UTIs are not a common complication after a D&C.

What should I do if I suspect a UTI after my D&C procedure?

You should contact your healthcare provider immediately for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

How is a UTI diagnosed?

Typically, a UTI is diagnosed using a urine sample to identify the presence of bacteria.

Can a D&C affect your bladder?

While not common, a D&C procedure can potentially affect your bladder, causing temporary issues like difficulty in urination or a urinary tract infection, especially if a urinary catheter was used during the surgery.




This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.