Here's What to Expect During Your First Mammogram
Updated: Mar 15
By the age of 40, only two in five women who wish to have a baby will be able to do so. Many visit an OBGYN to explore treatment options, but most of these professionals also provide breast health screening services, another essential component of womens health care. If you've recently scheduled an appointment to receive breast health screening services, it can put you at ease to understand how the process works. Here's what to expect when visiting a gynecologist for a breast health screening.
Most breast health screenings and mammograms don't take a long time to complete, as they aren't very drawn out processes. Typically, a mammogram lasts about 30 minutes from start to finish, although each breast is only compressed for between 20 to 30 seconds. The compression is essentially the most important aspect of the mammogram in order to get the best results:
"While compression can be uncomfortable, it’s also very important. It allows the breast tissue to spread and flatten. This ensures a clear view of the breast and reduces the amount of radiation needed to make an image," write Adelina Espat and Laura Nathan-Garner on MDAnderson.
What to Wear/Bring
Typically, patients are advised not to wear any beauty/health products around the chest area, e.g., perfume or deodorant. For this reason, many prefer to make their appointments for earlier in the day. You should also have pertaining medical info available, such as the name, address, and phone number of the doctor who requested the breast health screening. Patients are advised to wear a two piece outfit, as a dress may make you uncomfortable or overexposed.
One major aspect to keep in mind is that many times, the results may not come back 100% clear. This is especially true for those who are having their first procedure done; the doctor will have nothing to compare the results to, so they may be extra safe and mark the findings as 'suspicious.' That's also why women are urged to get breast health screening services relatively often: this way, your doctor can simply compare the current results with the results of previous procedures to determine if there's been an unhealthy change.
Ultimately, knowing what to expect when getting a breast health screening can help put you at ease and feel confident about the procedure. For more information about essential womens health care services, contact WomanCare PC.