Your First Mammogram: Common Questions Answered

preparing for your first mammogram

Is it going to be painful? Do I really need to get this done now? I’m too young to be going for a mammogram. What if they find something?

These are all very normal concerns a young woman might have before getting her first mammogram. Your first mammogram can be a nerve-wracking experience. But like most things, if you know what to expect then the experience will be much better.

What to Expect During First Mammogram

To put your mind at ease, the physicians at All About Women have put together a list of common questions we get from women like you.

Q: Do I really need to have a mammogram?

Yes! Mammograms really do save lives. They’re the best way to find breast cancer. A lump in your breast can’t always be felt. A mammogram can find a lump up to two years before you would be able to feel the lump.

Data shows that the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the outcome.

Q: Is a mammogram painful?

Some women find them painful while others experience no pain at all. If you think you might experience pain, take an over-the- counter pain reliever before your mammogram to help with the pain.

Q: What if they call and say they I need to go back for more images?

Don’t panic. Since you’ve never had a mammogram before, doctors don’t have previous images to compare your current images to and may need to get a few extra photos. Or the images they took may just be unclear.

Q: What other tips can you give me? 

Schedule your appointment early in the day since you can’t wear deodorant, perfume or other beauty products on the day your mammogram.  Also, don’t wear a dress or other one-piece outfit. That way you will just have to remove your top and not your entire outfit.

For more information on how to prepare for your first mammogram, see our helpful article: What to Expect For Your First Mammogram.

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