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Centers for Breast Health

How to Prepare for a Mammogram

pinkribbon_2_350a_rpinkribbon_2_350a_lIf you have previously had a mammogram performed at another clinic, have the reports and films sent or bring them with you to your examination.

Tell your Health Professional if you:

  • Are or might be pregnant. A mammogram is an X-ray test with exposure to low-dose radiation and is not performed for routine screening during pregnancy.
  • Are breast-feeding. A mammogram may not provide clear results in breasts that contain milk.
  • Have breast implants. Breast implants require a modified mammogram method.
  • Have previously had a breast biopsy. Knowing the location of scar tissue will help the radiologist read your mammogram accurately.

On the Day of the Mammogram

  • Do not use any deodorant, perfume, powders or ointments on your breasts. The residue left on your skin by these substances may interfere with the X-rays.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit to easily undress above the waist.
If you are still having menstrual periods, you may want to have your mammogram performed within two weeks after your menstrual period ends. The procedure will be more comfortable, especially if your breasts become tender during this time.