What Not to Do Before a Mammogram
Mammograms are valuable diagnostic screening tests for women, and can help with early detection of breast cancer. Many women have questions and concerns about their upcoming mammogram appointment, but the procedure itself is generally easy, quick and gentle, with minimal discomfort. Additionally, there is only minor preparation necessary for a mammogram. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before your appointment that will ensure you are as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure, while getting the most accurate test results. Check out these do’s and don’ts for a mammogram, so you can be fully prepared for your next mammogram appointment.
What You Shouldn’t Do Before a Mammogram
Before your mammogram appointment, of the biggest “don’ts” to remember is: Don’t worry! There’s no need to be scared of the procedure, which is as gentle as possible, with many women only experiencing minor discomfort. And having this important screening done can protect your health and give you peace of mind, too. Check out these common questions about what not to do before getting a mammogram.
Can You Drink Coffee Before a Mammogram?
Although consuming coffee — as well as any other caffeinated products like tea, cola or energy drinks — won’t affect your test results, it might lead to a less comfortable procedure. Caffeine can cause breast tenderness, especially for anyone with caffeine sensitivities, so if it’s possible to avoid drinking coffee and consuming other caffeine products right before your mammogram, you’ll have a more pleasant experience.
Can You Wear Makeup During a Mammogram?
Most makeup products should be just fine to wear during a mammogram, as long as you apply them on your face only. However, if you typically use any other makeup products like powder foundations or bronzers on your décolleté, leave these off for the day of your appointment. The tiny particles in these cosmetic products can show up as white spots on the mammogram imaging, skewing the test results.
Can You Use Deodorant or Lotions Before a Mammogram?
You should avoid the use of all personal care products on the breasts on the day of your mammogram. Do not apply any deodorant, antiperspirant, lotion, body powder or perfume to your breast area. Any of these personal care products can affect your test results, showing as white areas on the mammogram images. Even if the products are not directly on the breast, such as in the armpits, they can still affect the test results, so it’s best to avoid all of these types of products on the breasts, in the armpits and all surrounding areas. If you forget this before your appointment, your technologist will provide you with wet wipes to clean off the area before the procedure.
If it’s uncomfortable for you to go without these products, you can schedule your test earlier in the morning, so you don’t have to go all day without personal care products. You can also bring them with you and apply right after your appointment.
What Should I Wear to a Mammogram?
What you wear to a mammogram won’t affect the procedure or test results. However, you’ll need to remove any clothing from the waist up, so you may be more comfortable if you avoid one-piece outfits like dresses and jumpsuits. Wearing a shirt with pants or a skirt ensures you’ll only have to remove your top and bra for the test. You should also avoid wearing any jewelry like a necklace, since you’ll have to take it off anyway.
Can I Schedule a Mammogram During My Period?
Your monthly cycle won’t necessarily affect the outcome of the screening. However, many women experience some mild swelling and tenderness of the breasts the week before, and during, their periods. So, if you are pre-menopausal, you will likely be more comfortable during the mammogram if you schedule the appointment for the week after your period.
What You Can Do Before a Mammogram
Getting ready for your mammogram should be relatively easy. These questions address some of the things you can — and should — do before your appointment.
Can You Eat and Drink Before a Mammogram?
Mammogram appointments do not require fasting beforehand, so feel free to eat and drink as usual. Eating and drinking, even right before the test, won’t affect the procedure or the results.
Can You Take Medications Before a Mammogram?
Most regular prescription and over-the-counter medications won’t affect the outcome of your mammogram, so you can take any maintenance meds without worry. You may even want to take ibuprofen right before your appointment if you have any concerns about pain during the procedure. However, know that your mammogram technologist will have your comfort in mind, and will be as gentle as possible.
Can You Use Soap Before a Mammogram?
Before your mammogram procedure, you should feel free to bathe as usual. A bath or shower right before your appointment is perfectly acceptable and preferable — just remember not to use any products like lotions, creams, powders and deodorants after bathing. You can apply these products after your appointment, if you wish.
Should You Bring Anything With You to a Mammogram Appointment?
Generally, you don’t need to bring anything extra with you to your appointment. If you’ve previously had any mammograms at other facilities, you should bring any prior mammogram images with you so your technologist can compare the images and look for any changes. You should also be sure to discuss with your technologist any changes you may have noticed in your breast tissue, or changes and concerns in personal or family health history.
Schedule Your Mammogram Today
The best mammogram “do” is to schedule your appointment with an experienced, compassionate mammography center. Schedule an appointment for a mammogram with Envision Imaging or The Women’s Center at Colorado Springs Imaging for flexible appointment options that work with your schedule, the best in world-class imaging services and compassionate patient care. You can relax at our facilities in a spa-like atmosphere with caring staff who will put you at ease and ensure your comfort. We pride ourselves on our high level of service and quality patient care. Schedule your mammogram appointment today and experience our top-notch care and diagnostics for yourself.