Question: Are mammograms painful?
Answer: Mammograms can be uncomfortable for some women. About 10 percent of women say that mammograms are actually painful. Much of that is related to fibrocystic changes in the breast, most commonly for women in their 40s, and that tends to improve after menopause.
There are some things that can be done to reduce the pain associated with a mammogram. First of all, tell the technologist if you're worried about having pain from the mammogram and they will only apply as much compression as they need for the picture. Second, you can take some Tylenol or ibuprofen before the exam; that may help. And if you take hormone therapy, talk to your doctor about if you can stop the hormones for a few days prior to the mammogram; that could also reduce the discomfort. Having your mammogram if you're still cycling, at the time just after your menstrual cycle, will also reduce the amount of tenderness that you experience during the exam.
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