Are mammograms painful?
Mammography does compress the breasts and can sometimes cause slight discomfort for a very brief period of time. Patients who are sensitive should schedule their mammograms a week after their menstrual cycle so that the breasts are less tender. Your doctor may say it is fine to take acetaminophen an hour before the x-ray is performed to prevent discomfort too.
Do not ask the mammography technician to avoid tight compression of your breast. The tighter the compression, the clearer the mammogram images will be. This is because the compression is making the breast as thin as it can be.
If you’re experiencing an unreasonable amount of pain or discomfort, ask your mammographer if adjustments can be made.
Medically reviewed June 2023