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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. Preparation of the cervix (the neck of the womb) can be done with medication called misoprostol, with or without absorbent dilators called Dilapan.

Your healthcare professional will fully explain which preparation you will need and when this will occur. 

Misoprostol is used to soften the cervix, making it easier to dilate. The tablets are either placed in your vagina 3 hours before the procedure or under your tongue 2 hours before the procedure. They may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, chills, diarrhoea, cramping or vaginal bleeding.

Dilapan are matchstick sized rods that are inserted into the cervix 3-24 hours before surgery. They swell over time, gently opening 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.

If any of these occur while you are at home, you can call our Aftercare Line on 0300 333 68 28 (or +44 1789 508 210) for advice.