Preparing the cervix

If your cervix is being prepared the day before your treatment, expect to be at the clinic for up to 3 hours.

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Preparation of the cervix (the neck of the womb) can be done with medications misoprostol or mifepristone, with or without absorbent dilators called Dilapan.  Your healthcare professional will fully explain which preparation you will need and when this will occur. 

Mifepristone and misoprostol soften the cervix, making it easier to dilate (open). Misoprostol tablets are either placed in your vagina 3 hours before the procedure or under your tongue 1 hour before the procedure. They may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, chills, diarrhoea, cramping or vaginal bleeding.

Mifepristone is swallowed the day before treatment. You may be given the tablets to take home, or you may take them in the clinic.  You will be advised how and when to take the pills.

Dilapan are matchstick-sized rods that are inserted into the cervix 3-24 hours before surgery. They swell to gently open the cervix. Insertion only takes a few minutes and if your treatment is planned over 2 days, you will go home after they are placed. As the Dilapan expands it can cause cramping or spotting. Very rarely your waters can break, labour can start, or the Dilapan can fall out.

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