Should I Drink Coffee Before a Mammogram? – Our Guide
Preparing for a mammogram can be overwhelming if it’s your first time, however, these are necessary to help detect early signs of breast cancer and should be taken every 2 years as a woman over the age of 40.
Figuring out what you can and cannot do before a mammogram can be complicated, drinking coffee, in particular, can be done before a mammogram but it can increase breast tenderness during the procedure, which is why some doctors do not recommend it.
We’ve composed a short informative guide below which will cover why caffeine can cause breast tenderness as well as what else you shouldn’t do before a mammogram, we’ve also included a few other important tips for taking a mammogram below.
Who Needs a Mammogram?
Most women over 30 years old need a mammogram every two years or so, but some other signs you need one are if you detect a lump in your breasts, abnormal nipples, a change in breast size, swelling or dimpling of the breast and unusual breast pain.
Why Can Caffeine Make a Mammogram Uncomfortable?
Caffeine can make mammograms uncomfortable for women due to it acting as a stimulant to the body, this can increase breast sensitivity. It contains a chemical called methylxanthine which makes the blood vessels in your body wider and also can raise levels of cortisol in your body which interacts with your hormones, leading to breast swellings.
Most doctors recommend women avoid caffeine products in all drinks, not just coffee, you should also refrain from energy drinks a week before your mammogram to stop breast pain, this is not to say you cannot drink coffee at all, but it could cause breast pain if you do.
Doctors also recommend for peace of mind you have a screening mammogram during the second half of your cycle as your hormones are less balanced and you have a lesser chance of breast pain and minor discomfort.
What You Shouldn’t Do Before a Mammogram
As well as not drinking caffeinated products you should also refrain from a few other things before taking a mammogram.
We’ve listed what you shouldn’t do before a mammogram below.
- Don’t use personal care products – It is important to avoid personal care products on the day of your mammogram any lotions or creams can show up as white spots on your mammogram and taint the results, this goes for any skincare products around the breast area.
- Avoid one-piece outfits – During a mammogram screening, you will have to take off the top half of your clothing, avoiding one-piece outfits can help in this situation and avoid faff.
- Schedule on your cycle right – It’s best to schedule 3D Mammograms after the second half of your cycle as it causes less pain and has minimal discomfort, at the start of your cycle you will get extra discomfort due to sensitivity.
- Not eat – Many people think you have to fast before a mammogram but this is not true, you can eat drink normally before an upcoming mammogram appointment, just avoid caffeine.
- Be worried – Don’t stress before breast cancer screenings, these are perfectly normal and safe to do as routine tests for a woman. Unnecessary worry can make the procedure much worse.
Tips For Taking a Mammogram
If you are having a screen for lumps or a screen for breast cancer there are some worth knowing tips and tricks to have a more comfortable screening.
We’ve listed a few down below.
- Let your doctor know if you feel pain – While having your mammogram done you will feel some compression on your tissue which can cause pain, to avoid this ensure you are not twisting while the screening is done, even if the position is uncomfortable it will only be for a short amount of time until it’s over and done with.
- Expect a longer time with breast implants – If you have breast implants then the screening during a mammogram can take double the time as you need to take the images twice, it’s important to be patient during this procedure.
- Keep facing forward – Try to keep your feet facing forward while the mammogram is being done, twisting can make it much more uncomfortable and give you lower back pain, if you stay with your feet forward this will also allow you to move closer to the machine.
- Relax – Keep deep breathing during your mammogram, stress and tension will just make the procedure much worse and it will be harder to get good quality images.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drinking Coffee & Mammograms
How often should I take a mammogram?
Starting at the ages between 30-50 you should aim to take a mammogram at least once to twice a year to make sure you are safe and checked properly, this is important for tackling breast cancer diagnosis early on before it takes hold.
Does a mammogram hurt?
Mammograms can indeed be uncomfortable but they should never hurt so much that you wouldn’t want to get one again, if you feel pain during the screening it is best to tell your doctor or switch to a different place next time.
Is drinking caffeine bad for a mammogram?
Drinking caffeine is not harmful before a mammogram but it can make your breasts more tender, it’s better to stick to soft drinks before your appointment for at least a week before or try drink decaffeinated coffee instead.
Why can’t I use personal care products before a mammogram?
Most personal care products such as lotion are thick and cause white spots on your images which can be confusing to analyse.
Can I take my medication before having a mammogram?
You can take your meds without worry when having a mammogram, most medications will sit fine with one of these procedures some medications such as painkillers are encouraged to stop tenderness for women when getting their breasts examined.
Overall, caffeine before a mammogram will not cause any harm, but it is generally not recommended a week before your procedure as it can increase pain due to it being a stimulant and containing methylxanthine which makes your blood vessels thicker.
We also suggest avoiding any types of productions that are thick such as lotions as they can affect the quality of images taken from your mammogram.