4 Essential Tips for a Less Painful Mammogram

How To Make Your Mammogram Experience Less Unpleasant

Let's face it—mammograms can be uncomfortable. For many women, though, they're even worse than merely unpleasant. They're also quite painful. This is especially true of women with larger breasts. In fact, some women experience mammograms that hurt so much, they are then deterred from getting another one, even though the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends getting one every year.

Why are mammograms so essential? Because they can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease, and they can also be used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found.

Luckily, mammograms don't have to be painful. Follow these simple tips for a less painful mammogram.

Schedule your mammogram 10 days after you start your period.

Woman getting mammogram
Glow Wellness/Getty Images

About 10 days after your period begins is the ideal time to have a mammogram done. The breasts are usually less tender at this time, reducing the amount of pain you may experience during the screening.

Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever prior to the mammogram.

About an hour before your mammogram, take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication. It can help ease any pain you might experience during the procedure itself. Studies have not yet pinpointed exactly how effective this is, but it can't hurt. 

Avoid caffeine before your mammogram.

Switch over to the decaf coffee and soft drinks about a week before your next mammogram, as caffeine can make the breasts more tender.

If you feel pain, talk to the technician performing the mammogram.

Pain can often be minimized by something as simple as repositioning the breast. Don't feel shy about talking the the technician about your pain. They may be able to help relieve the pain instantly!

Imaginis: Mammography on Small Breasts

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