General Question

2late2be's avatar

Are mammograms painful?

Asked by 2late2be (2286points) August 19th, 2008 from iPhone

I’m 27 years old and never had one, some women say it’s very very painful, is it true?

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18 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Sorry to answer a question for which I have no firsthand experience. I’ve just heard a lot of testimony. It’s uncomfortable at best. Your boob gets squished between two metal plates that may or may not be cold. It’s probably painful if you’re the sensitive type or if it’s around the sensitive time.

2late2be's avatar

Thanks kevbo, I really apreciate that you tried…

stratman37's avatar

my wife says it hurts like a mofo, and I believe her. I’m just glad there’s no such thing as a testogram!

kevbo's avatar

Amen, brother!

2late2be's avatar

like a mofo??? And it should be a testogram. LOL!! Men should suffer at least a little of what we suffer in our lifetime!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

it also depends on the size and shape of your breasts. Basically they are trying to flatten them out as much as possible, because the pictures they take are 2D, so they want to make your boobs as close to that as they can, to get the most accurate picture. the more round the are, the more it hurts. also, the more they care about getting accurate pictures, the more it hurts (awesome, right? no, not really.) i don’t remember there being a lot of lingering pain afterwards, but it did hurt at the time.

cak's avatar

It hurt. Not as bad as I thought, but it hurt. Getting into position and standing there, when them flattened? Not fun. I was sore afterwards and it didn’t help that she repositioned my left side, three different times. (turns out, there was something there.)

Also, please make sure you ask about wearing deodorant. I was told not to wear it, but I can’t remember now. I believe it has something to do with showing some kind of false read on the films.

Judi's avatar

I didn’t hurt. I think it’s different for everyone. I have heard the technician can make a difference too.

Lightlyseared's avatar

deodorant shouldn’t be a problem. Anti persperant which may contain aluminium could be I suppose.

hearkat's avatar

I just had my 2nd annual mammo last week. To choose a time of the month when you’re less tender makes a difference… they say the best is about a week after the first day of your period.

I am quite well endowed, so they have to squish a lot, which is uncomfortable, but I haven’t had lingering aching or anything. I have wondered if it’s more uncomfortable for smaller women.

As for deoderant/antiperspirant, I was told not to wear it. The antiperspirant does contain aluminum, so I guess that’s the issue – but they probably tell women not to use anything as a safeguard. I was also told not to use any powders. I just scheduled mine for 1st thing in the morning and put my deoderant in my purse.

SuperMouse's avatar

I found it uncomfortable. I am not very well endowed and the techs had a difficult time getting things in position. I’m with Cak, It is also uncomfortable to stand there while they get the pictures. On the upside it doesn’t last long, there was no lingering pain, and it is well worth the peace of mind that comes with a clean result.

BTW, I wore deodorant the first time and they made me wipe it off, the second time they specifically told me not to wear any.

autumn43's avatar

It is uncomfortable. I have been lucky though, to get great techs who laugh at the corny jokes I make so that the process seem FUN! My favorite part is when you are totally squished and held in the machine tight as can be and they say “Okay. Don’t move.” Um, exactly how would that be possible? LOL!

And I agree with SuperMouse – it’s worth it for the peace of mind. It is over before you know it and I take some ibuprofen after. Also, where I go there are wipes in the changing room to make sure if you did wear deodorant that it will be removed (they tell you in pre-instructions not to wear it -but if you had to go anywhere before your appointment, you most likely would!). And they also have spray deodorant to use after (I bring my own).

BarbieM's avatar

I agree that a good technician makes a huge difference. I’ve had some that were fairly painful, but the women’s center I go to now has great techs, so it’s not nearly as bad. It’s still uncomfortable but nor outright painful. I always have to clean off the arm pit area with a special wipe when I get there, so you might want to put your deodorant in your purse for after. My center has pray on deodorant, but I don’t like it much.

tedibear's avatar

It’s not horrible, just really uncomfortable while you’re squished in between the two plates. I’m well-endowed and have heard that it hurts more if you are. For me, the level of pain is like being sore, but it stops when they release you from the machine. The worst part for me is actually how I have to hold my arm when they take the picture – it makes my neck hurt.
Dumbest thing I’ve done in a while was to schedule my mammogram and a dentist appointment on the same day. Ugh!

scamp's avatar

The first one I had done was by a sadistic woman who was probably jealous that I had bigger boobs than her, and it hurt like hell. The folLow up one didn’t hurt at all they will be more gentle with you since you are pregnant, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much..

DandyDear711's avatar

At least they can be uncomfortable and sometimes they can hurt a lot! I remember my first one – the woman said “Don’t Breath and Don’t Move”. I thought, “Don’t worry Lady – there is no way I can do either!” I couldn’t even speak! I had a fear that the fire alarm would go off and she would leave me right there – I couldn’t have escaped if I tried!! LOL!

scamp's avatar

@DandyDear711 I remember worrying about the same thing!! The woman doing my first one left the room for a moment, and I was concerned she had gone to lunch!! ha ha!!

lehoe's avatar

I find mammograms VERY PAINFUL and my breast hurt for about a week afterwards. The tech tells me everytime, that women with large natural breasts have the most pain. I am a E cup so that is why it hurts so much. She said women with small breast that are C cup or below hardly notice. So who knows. I know it hurts like hell for me. I almost blackout it hurts so bad.

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