How painful is a mammogram? The compression can make a mammogram painful for some women, but for most it is mildly uncomfortable, and the sensation lasts for just a short time. Still, some women may skip regular mammograms because they’re anxious or stressed about the discomfort.
How much do they squish your breast in a mammogram? Breast tissue must be spread out to better detect any abnormalities, so the mammogram machine will “compress to the point where it’s slightly to moderately uncomfortable,” Klein says, noting that the squeezing lasts only five or six seconds twice per breast.
Why do you hold your breath during a mammogram? Your breast must be compressed to even out its thickness and permit the X-rays to penetrate the breast tissue. The pressure also holds your breast still to decrease blurring from movement and minimizes the dose of radiation needed. During the brief X-ray exposure, you’ll be asked to stand still and hold your breath.
How do they perform a mammogram? You will stand in front of a special X-ray machine. A technologist will place your breast on a plastic plate. Another plate will firmly press your breast from above. The plates will flatten the breast, holding it still while the X-ray is being taken.