How to Prepare for Your First Mammogram

If you’re nervous about getting a mammogram, you’re not alone. Research shows that only about 50% of women who are eligible for a mammogram each year make the time or effort to get one. While there are a variety of reasons for this, time, money, and fear of pain or discomfort are common concerns.

At Grassroots Healthcare in Tulsa, Oklahoma, our team offers comprehensive women’s health examinations to help you optimize your overall health. While we don’t offer mammograms in our office, we do assess when you need a mammogram and help you prepare when the time comes for your first one. Here’s what we recommend. 

Know when to go

The American College of Physicians put together the following guidance for women who are at average risk of developing breast cancer:

Choose a certified center

If possible, schedule your exam at a center that specializes in mammography. At a certified and accredited facility, the team uses the highest quality imaging and diagnostic equipment that decreases the chances for a false positive result.

Plan for a time when your breasts aren’t tender

Most women dread a mammogram because the procedure can be briefly uncomfortable while your breasts are spread between the X-ray plates. For this reason, we recommend that you schedule your exam when you aren’t near your menstrual cycle so your breasts won’t already be tender. 

Don’t use deodorant on the day of the test

Lotions, powders, perfumes, body sprays, and deodorant can obstruct the imaging results and create a need for additional and unnecessary tests.

Dress for it

Wearing an outfit that has a bottom and top is preferred on the day of your mammogram. You’ll need to remove your shirt, sweater, or blouse and bra, but you can leave on your skirt or pants. Save your jumpers, dresses, and one-piece outfits for another day. Likewise, your technician asks you to remove jewelry that falls near the imaging area.

Fill out the paperwork online

So that you can relax with a book or magazine before the mammogram, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to complete your medical history forms and other paperwork in advance of your appointment. Due to COVID-19, many offices are already set up to easily accommodate this request.

With a bit of preparation, your mammogram will go smoothly. Call our office to learn more, or use our online scheduling feature to book your appointment now. 

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