Family Magazine

Don’t Fear The Mammogram

By Monicasmommusings @mom2natkatcj

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Yes, I am of the age where mammograms are now a part of my medical check ups.  I am 35 and my doctor recommends one between the ages of 35 and 40.  Knowing how I can be with putting things off I opted to just got this done and over with and hope that I don’t need to do this again for 5 more years.  And I was quite nervous about this.  Because lets face it, we have all heard horror stories of painful mammograms.  And even just imagining your boob getting pressed between two glass (plastic or whatever material these machines are made out of) plates doesn’t exactly leave one feeling all warm and fuzzy about mammograms.

And I know, you probably aren’t going to take my word for it.  I had a friend tell me they’re no big deal, didn’t hurt a bit, but I was still nervous.  Was she blowing smoke up my butt?  I assure you, no smoke blowing up anyone’s butt here, mammograms DO NOT hurt!

Here’s What Happens

I went in today for my scheduled 9:45 appointment early.  I was supposed to be there at 9:30 to fill out paperwork.  I got there about 9:25.  Checked in, filled out my paperwork, and sat down for a few minutes.  I got called back, sent into a room to take my top off and put a robe on and then brought into the mammogram room.  She asked a quick history, if this was my first mammogram, when I had my first child, how old I was when I had my first period, if there’s any family history of breast Cancer and when I had my last menstrual period.  Then we got down to business.

I had a very nice tech by the way.  She assured me that mammograms get a bad rap, but they really aren’t all that bad.  She had me stand in front of the machine with my hands at my sides.  Then she took my breast and placed it on the table and lowered the other plate on top of it.  She told me to hold my breath and took the picture.  Then we did the same thing on the other side.  I kid you not I felt not even a pinch.  It was no more pressure than a gentle hug and I truly found breastfeeding to be far more uncomfortable and painful than this.

After she got those two images she had me take my arm out of the sleeve of my gown and turn to the side and put my arm up on a bar across the table.  She placed my breast on the table again and lowered the other plate and told me to hold my breath and took the picture and we did the other side like that.  The most uncomfortable thing was the position I had to stand in, but that really wasn’t that uncomfortable.  That was it.

This Is Just My Experience

Now when I posted the above picture to my Facebook page I had a few say mine was painful, but yeah they are still important and worth it.  I imagine a few of you have thought this as well about my post up until now.  This might be about the only thing being well endowed is good for.  I can see how the side shots especially might be more painful for someone not well endowed.

But perhaps it’s all in how the tech does it.  You know how sometimes you get blood drawn and some are really great you don’t feel a thing and barely bruise and others just jam that needle in there?  Perhaps that makes all the difference here.  Or some gynecologists can make you feel really at ease during an internal exam and pap smear, but others are just brutal.

Or maybe it depends on what is needed to be seen.  This was a baseline.  I could get called in for another one if anything shows up.  Not because there’s something wrong, but they will want to get a closer look at something.

But what I do know is I went into my mammogram completely dreading the entire experience.  Now this isn’t something I want to be doing in my past time.  Having strange women handle my boobs is not what I’m accustomed to and not exactly my favorite past time, but it was not nearly the painful or uncomfortable experience I was expecting.

So if you have been putting off your mammogram out of fear of the procedure itself, stop!  It’s not bad at all. It’s less invasive than a pap smear and it’s fast.  I was out of that office before my scheduled 9:45 appointment time.  I almost wish I could put off my pap smear for the next five years and get a mammogram every year instead.

What was your experience with a mammogram?

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