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How bad does a mammogram hurt? First one next week... :-/


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Not that bad......it’s slightly uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t call it actual pain.

Thank you.  I actually just checked for other posts about this topic and found an older thread that had the same response as you.  Whew.  I'm calming down now and I hope my experience is similar.  

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Well, I had been wondering this as well but hadn't thought to search. So, thank you for asking! I personally don't mind repeated questions. Groups change. There are new people here all the time.

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I have had about 10 or so.  Honestly, I cannot think of one that actually hurt.  It can be weird putting your arm here, your br@st there, etc. and there are some awkward positions, but pain? No, I didn't feel any.

 

And I agree 100% that a pap is more uncomfortable/painful (yet I still get those, too!)

 

FWIW, my ultrasounds, MRI, and biopsy didn't hurt either.

Edited by umsami
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It's like having your boobs ripped off!

 

Totally kidding.  I have been avoiding this myself because eeek...  So next I wanna know what about if one has very little boobage? 

 

They have different sized equipment to deal with this.  The technician had a look and then chose the correct... plates?

 

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I've had many, and agree that it's more discomfort than actual pain.

 

And though I have no direct experience, I'd guess that the discomfort and pain of a mammogram are far less than treatment for cancer.   

 

(If that sounds flippant, I don't mean for it to.)

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Addressing the "what if you only bring a 'short story' not a bOOk" question from above: they squeeze whatever you bring.   :laugh:

 

The worst discomfort (not actual pain) I've had was for two reasons: 

 

1) an overzealous tech had me standing with a rib pinned against the edge of the adjustable squeeze-plate.  I've learned to ask for it to be readjusted until we found a more bearable position. (Some women have zero ribcage padding, and pushing hard on a rib can be very uncomfortable.)

2) I don't go in the middle of a cycle, or when my bOOks are predictably tender anyway.  If you have regular cycles, you should be able to schedule the test when you'll be more comfortable.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Edited by Halftime Hope
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More embarrassing having the technician position your chest chunk into position than painful, although the few seconds you have to maintain the position with your bits squished is uncomfortable. Turns out I have a small lump of dead tissue (seat belt trauma from the car crash almost FOUR years ago now) so I had EXTRA scans and then an ultrasound - my 15 minutes in and out visit ended up three hours. No one was letting me leave until they felt confident that was all it was. So worth getting the scan - if all is well, then they have a baseline scan of what your chest bits are supposed to be like, for comparison with later scans as you age. Hint - always use the same place to get your scans, or keep the info so you can get copies if you change providers later. The hospital knew from previous scans that the lump was new. When I mentioned my B* had been dark purple like an eggplant after the crash a light bulb went off over the medical person's head.

Edited by JFSinIL
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Last time I had mine, from the time I left my car until I was back to my car - 15 minutes! And there's no pain, just a little more squishing than you like. 

 

This has been my experience, too.  I feel very fortunate.  

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My books are more like a short essay, possibly even a tri-fold pamphlet, so it’s tough to get enough tissue to even get in there. It doesn’t hurt, but more like a gentle tugging to get something more than the top layer of skin.

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Not all that bad. When I had my first one, the nurse asked if I'd breast fed. I told her I EP'd for 2 years. She replied "Oh, you'll have no trouble, then". She was right-it really doesn't hurt any more than a hospital grade breast pump (and when I had to use my hand pump, it always hurt more than the hospital grade one I had at home).

 

The center my OB refers to tries it's best to look more like a spa than a medical facility, which seems silly in it's own right, but is appreciated (and a plush bathrobe that opens in front does make you feel less exposed than a hospital gown).

 

 

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Awkward, but no pain. Having someone grabbing the girls and arranging them how they needed, was a bit weird and I got the nervous-giggles which made it all even more awkward.

 

I had a mammo and then ultrasound right afterwards, and that was WAY more uncomfortable. I have bOOks on the larger side, but after two pregnancies, and nursing, well...when I lay down they just kinda go where they want to go. So the tech had to really manhandle them to get the u/s wand in the right spot :lol: It was....just awkward all around.

 

I'm not normally a shy person or uncomfortable about medical procedures, but this experience brought me to the brink!

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oh dear

 

there are zillions of videos on youtube showing everything

 

this actually left me feeling worse as a short person with no boobage....HOWEVER I don't think this would be painful...just embarrassing and stupid because it will require some major machine adjustments and creativity....LOL

 

 

 

 

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Agreeing that it wasn't painful for me.  Not fun, but really nothing to be afraid of.  I actually felt more sorry for the woman who had to spend her whole day giving mammograms.  :P

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I appreciate this thread. I need to get one this year (am actually late for my first one), but I have a bunch of dental work I want to get out of the way first. Not a fun year, but judging by this thread, the mammogram won't be as bad as the dental stuff, so that's something.

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It's like having your boobs ripped off!

 

Totally kidding. I have been avoiding this myself because eeek... So next I wanna know what about if one has very little boobage?

Somehow they find enough to squish......I always thought I could probably just have a chest X-ray and call it good.🤣😂

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I appreciate this thread. I need to get one this year (am actually late for my first one), but I have a bunch of dental work I want to get out of the way first. Not a fun year, but judging by this thread, the mammogram won't be as bad as the dental stuff, so that's something.

 

Ugh, I have an awful gag reflex and dental x-rays are the worst.  I have laughing gas for almost everything else dental.

 

Mammogram... squishy and sometimes pinchy.  Not bad at all.

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It's like having your boobs ripped off!

 

Totally kidding.  I have been avoiding this myself because eeek...  So next I wanna know what about if one has very little boobage

 

It is EXACTLY like having them ripped off. It is horrible. It's impossible if your happen to be extra sensitive at the time. I had to walk out during my last appointment. I have not returned, and I'm seeking out an u/s instead. I'm very flat, though, so there is literally nothing to squeeze without pulling at skin and muscle. 

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Do Mammograms Hurt?

 

Short answer:  sometimes no, but sometimes yes.  Mine hurt.  And no I don't mean it was uncomfortable, I mean it HURT.  And they ached for three days afterward.  Three days!  Since my doctor and the tech had told me it wouldn't hurt, I thought the problem was that I was overly sensitive (I do have small, dense breasts so that probably is a factor).  After watching that video, and learning that they use more compression force than what is necessary, and other women have had far worse outcomes than mine (ruptured blood vessels, ruptured cysts, ruptured implants) I learned the problem isn't just me.  The problem is that they give no clear guidelines for how much force is to be used, so it varies from place to place and even technician to technician.  

 

 

Edited by Greta
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Do Mammograms Hurt?

 

Short answer: sometimes no, but sometimes yes. Mine hurt. And no I don't mean it was uncomfortable, I mean it HURT. And they ached for three days afterward. Three days! Since my doctor and the tech had told me it wouldn't hurt, I thought the problem was that I was overly sensitive (I do have small, dense breasts so that probably is a factor). After watching that video, and learning that they use more compression force than what is necessary, and other women have had far worse outcomes than mine (ruptured blood vessels, ruptured cysts, ruptured implants) I learned the problem isn't just me. The problem is that they give no clear guidelines for how much force is to be used, so it varies from place to place and even technician to technician.

That’s terrible! I know my mom had one bad mammogram that left bruises, but she’s had many before/after without pain or problems. Must have been a bad tech. I’ve had five mammograms, no pain, but I’ve had the same technician every year as well. I’ve also only had 3D mammos, so I don’t know if that makes a difference.

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I may not be a good sample, because I have reduced sensation in my boobs, but while it was uncomfortable, I didn't find it painful.  The hardest part was having to sort of contort my body so they could get good images of certain parts.  Definitely a lot of pressure, but it really wasn't all that bad. 

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just an FYI, get a hold of your reports after and note if they say anything about breast density. 

Mammograms can miss things in dense breasts. There are some clinicians who believe if you score over a certain density you might want to consider an MRI but it seems to vary from place to place so you may need to advocated on your own behalf  https://www.cancercenter.com/discussions/blog/why-its-important-to-know-if-you-have-dense-breasts/

 

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I have an MRI in April and maamogram in November every year. I hate the MRI and don't enjoy getting the mammogram (hanging round, answering the same dumb questions an being pulled and prodded) but it is relatively straight forward.

Edited by kiwik
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Just pretty uncomfortable (but not painful, I didn't think) for about 4-5 seconds two different times on each breast. But it's such an important test.

You'll do fine; just think of your children.

From the time I get out of my vehicle, walk in the building, and am walking back out, it's max 15-20 minutes.

Edited by JBJones
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