Women's Health

Do mammograms hurt?

A Answers (3)

  • AJanine Carson, MD, Radiology, answered on behalf of Sanford Health
    Dr. Jan Carson - Mammogram Discomfort

    When it comes to mammograms, every woman has a different experience. In this video, Dr. Jan Carlson describes the test and discusses the steps that can minimize discomfort.

  • ARealAge answered

    We have never come across a woman who told us that a mammogram felt good. Many women refer to the X-ray machine as a "breast sandwich" machine: one breast at a time is placed between two plates, and then the breast is flattened in order for the technician to get a picture of the entire breast. The procedure can be uncomfortable, even painful, particularly for women with small or especially sensitive breasts. Generally, two pictures of each breast are taken. The actual time needed to take each picture is about five seconds. The entire procedure only takes about 20 minutes. You shouldn't have any lasting pain or marks.

  • AMary Clay, Nursing, answered on behalf of Swedish

    Most women who have had a mammogram will tell you that breast compression is uncomfortable but not painful. It is a good idea, however, to schedule your mammogram when your breasts are least tender -- typically two or three days following the end of your menstrual cycle. You may also want to consider taking a pain reliever to reduce the discomfort.

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