Waaaaah! My endocrinologist has ordered that I get a mammogram just to rule out anything abnormal in the tissue. I'm about 15 years early for this procedure.
Any advice on how to make things more comfortable?
I've heard avoid caffeine, and take Advil before hand.
I've 6 done over the last 6 years (I'm 41). Truly, unless you have massive breasts, it's merely mildly uncomfortable. It's a bit embarrassing the first time until you realize how many breasts the tech has seen that day alone.
I found that it is only mildly uncomfortable - imagine squishing your breast in the fridge door. I'm a B-cup, and found that the most uncomfortable thing is the stretching of skin in my armpit. Not a big deal at all. Also, if you stand really still, it will go more quickly.
Here's hoping that it goes well,and that it's nothing.
Make sure you tell your technician that you have painful breasts already. A good tech can make or break your comfort level during the procedure.
I am a breast cancer survivor and radiation left my right breast very tender all the time. I have to have comprehensive mammos every year and I was very apprehensive about it since my earlier experiences were not very comfortable.
I talked to the tech and she said if she lowered the plates slowly a little bit at a time, it would be less painful. She was right. It took a little longer to get the maximum "squish" factor, but the discomfort level was very manageable. I'm a DD, BTW.
My previous mammos had been done by Atillah the Hun. WHAM!! Those plates slammed down like hammers. I was so anxiety riddled about the post radiation mammo that my oncologist said he would prescribe me some meds to help. I hated to have to use any more drugs so I just decided to lay it all out there for the tech and to my delight they had fired her. The new tech is an angel and she had been in charge of my mammos now for the last 12 yrs.
Try to schedule it at whatever time of month your breasts are least tender and least puffy...for me that is a day or two after my period starts and for about a week after. It can be hard to get the mammography schedule to line up with my cycle (especially since mine is becoming irregular, at 50), but it's worth it to try and they are generally pretty understanding of a quick reschedule if things aren't lining up best for comfort. They get better pictures when your breasts are at their smallest/droopiest, so it's in their interest to cooperate too.
I've been having regular mammograms since I was 35 and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (she's now an 11 yr survivor) and I had a bout of mastitis (never been pregnant and they have no idea why I got it!).
I schedule mine for about a week after my period is due to end to reduce the pain from fluid retention. I avoid caffeine for a few days before and take a motrin before my appt. I have fairly large dense breasts, that now have cysts as I'm approaching menopause so it's never a comfortable procedure. Luckily the clinic I go to has nice techs that do their best to keep you comfortable and are good at their job so it limits the amount of time you are "squished' between the plates (yes squished......and no doubt about it, it's not pleasant!). Luckily it's over fairly fast and it's just another of those "things" that we woman have to put up with....can you imagine a man having to have his penis squished like this.......they'd cry, no doubt about it!
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
I have had every year for the last 13 yrs. I had a mastectomy so that side is a bit more uncomfortable because they have to really try to get as much tissue as possible higher... I don't find them painful and the techs have always been nice. They even have a warm pad on the plate so it is not too cold. It does not last long.
I had to go in last month for my annual mammogram and I also had a bilateral ultrasound. My OB/gyn found a lump last year and sent me to the oncologist. No worries in the end, but before releasing me for good, she wanted me to have the ultrasound.
As I was waiting between the mammo and the ultrasound, I was placed in a waiting area with another woman. She informed me that she was waiting for a procedure that the office nicknamed, "The Titty Twister." She wasn't too excited about it, but was happy that the office at least had a sense of humor.
Both of us were sent on our merry ways and released from our oncologist's care.
it ain't comfy, but not too bad either. the office note suggests to not wear body powder or deodorant so it won't alter the image.
The plates are a bit cold and it's a bit weird to manouver the boobs on them, but really not a big deal.
if you think however your girls will be tender, do by all means take a motrin.
And remember: keep breathing. Right up until the tech tells you to hold it.